Hulton Park CGI The Ryder Cup in the Great Park p Peel LP

Peel L&P envisages the 128-acre site hosting the prestigious Ryder Cup. Credit: via Peel L&P

Hulton Park inquiry starts today

Peel L&P’s plans to create a golf venue capable of hosting the Ryder Cup in 2031 or 2035 will come under intense scrutiny over the next two days, as the long-awaited public inquiry begins.

The inquiry, which takes place at the Holiday Inn, Bolton, on 6 and 7 October – will determine whether the £240m redevelopment of the historic Hulton Park Estate can go ahead.

As well as a world-class golf course, Peel L&P’s scheme features plans for more than 1,000 homes, a primary school, a health and wellbeing hub, food and entertainment spaces, a village hall and community allotments, on 847 acres in Bolton.

The Hulton Park Estate borders Over Hulton, Westhoughton, and Atherton and was home to the Hulton family from 1167 until the 1990s.

In 1993, it was transferred to a nephew of the family, before being sold to Peel in 2010.

Bolton Council refused the project in February against the recommendation of its planning officers due to concerns over how the scheme would impact the local Green Belt.

At the time, Peel said Bolton had missed out on “possibly the biggest investment in its history”.

The refusal was the second time the authority had blocked the developer’s plans. An earlier version of the project was rejected in 2018 but the decision was called in by then-housing secretary James Brokenshire in July of that year.

At the subsequent planning inquiry, the plans were approved in 2020 on the basis that the scheme could only go ahead if the Ryder Cup bid was successful.

Peel L&P then submitted a revised planning application to Bolton Council earlier this year – the one that was rejected in February. The developer announced in May it would appeal the decision.

Hulton Park CGI The driving range at the Academy p Peel LP

The proposed driving range at the academy, for aspiring golfers to learn. Credit: via Peel L&P

It claims the project would be a “game changer” for Bolton and Greater Manchester – delivering around £250m of private sector investment, creating more than 1,000 job,s as well as plenty of skills opportunities, promoting health and wellbeing, and boosting local tourism and events.

At the same time, the historic Hulton Park would be restored and opened up for community access for the first time in its 700-year history, Peel says, with 15km of public walking and cycling trails for visitors.

The proposed golfing facilities include the Championship golf course and a golf academy with modern driving range, learning spaces, adventure course and a par 3 course for young and inexperienced players.

The project is conditional on Hulton Park securing the rights to host The Ryder Cup tournament in 2031 or 2035. As it stands, Hulton Park remains one of only two English venues shortlisted by UK Sport and Ryder Cup Europe for an English bid for the 2031 Ryder Cup.

However, Should Peel win at appeal but not secure the Ryder Cup, the company has said it would need a new strategy for redeveloping Hulton Park. The scheme’s opponents have deploredthe use of the historic park for a sports and leisure destination, and say local residents would lose precious natural green space.

Peel L&P released new images of the planned academy and golf course ahead of the start of the inquiry. Richard Knight, the developer’s director of planning and strategy, said: “We’ve said it before but this is a huge opportunity for Bolton. The boost to the local economy and the prosperity and wellbeing of local communities arising from such a project would be enormous.

“Bringing The Ryder Cup – one of the world’s premier sporting events – to Bolton would be an Olympic moment for the town, but our proposals are about so much more.

“Alongside our supporters, we look forward to articulating our case for this ambitious and transformative project at the inquiry this week. We are continuing discussions with Ryder Cup Europe and UK Sport, and if we are successful with the appeal, we hope to see that process move forward quickly.”

Turley is the planning consultant; Land Use Consultants is the landscape architect; Leach Rhodes Walker architects designed the hotel, clubhouse and academy; Falconer Chester Hall designed the barns, restaurant, rooms and lodges; Frank Whittle Partnership designed the primary school, wellbeing hub and retail unit; the homes were designed by Hope Architects, and European Golf Design designed the golf course.

Hulton Park CGI The Academy. Short course and driving range p Peel LP

As well as the Championship golf course, the proposed facilities feature a short course and driving range. Credit: Peel L&P

Your Comments

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Get it built ASAP

By Anonymous

Long-awaited? Some people have to wait more than double those six months for an operation.

By Swampy

Peel will never build this. It will be sold off speculatively. I’m on the residents’ side on this.

By 1981

If this is approved there will be no golf course and no Ryder Cup. The huge housing estate will however be built, I’m sure of it.

By Ruse

Get this built! What a great development and investment for the area. Plus the extra houses will be brilliant, we need more family homes being built.


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