Revised plans for the £240m project, which includes 1,036 homes and a Ryder Cup-standard golf course, have been recommended for approval by Bolton Council’s planning officers.
The officers’ report, prepared in advance of Bolton’s planning committee meeting on 20 January, states that “there remains a particularly strong and unique case for the grant of planning permission” describing the revamped project as stronger than the proposal already consented for the 138-acre site.
Peel L&P, which has owned the site since 2010, submitted refreshed plans in September last year for the scheme, following feedback from the secretary of state and further local consultation.
The main changes made in September’s application were a reduction in Green Belt homes and the addition of a village hall. Further tweaks were then made in November, introducing the addition of outdoor sports facilities, either on- or off-site, the retention of the Dearden’s Farm buildings, to be converted into a village hall, and adding an alternative highways option.
Richard Knight, Peel L&P’s director of planning and strategy, said: “We strongly believe that our vision for Hulton Park will create a sporting centre of excellence, not only bringing the Ryder Cup to Bolton but also developing a new generation of golfers and making the sport more accessible.
“The proposals will allow the public to access the park in a way that has never been possible before, creating new community facilities, public green spaces and new and improved footpaths and cycleways throughout the site.
Knight added that the proposals have “evolved considerably” since the original approval and along with reducing the volume of new housing on Green Belt land, will “deliver considerably more benefits for nearby communities in Over Hulton and Westhoughton”.
Approval would allow Peel’s team to proceed with its Ryder Cup bid, the course being shortlisted to host in either 2031 or 2035. A decision on the venue is due this year.
Peel said that 75 local residents have lodged support with the council, along with organisations including the University of Bolton, GreaterSport, the CBI’s regional operation and Marketing Manchester.
The plans include 15.6km of new and upgraded public rights of way, along with a health and wellbeing hub, a leisure facility, a primary school, allotments and a village centre
The project team for Hulton Park includes architect Parkinson Inc on the masterplan and LUC on the landscape. European Golf Design designed the golf course. Hope Architects crafted the residential schemes. Leach Rhodes Walker designed the hotel clubhouse. Frank Whittle Partnerships designed the community facilities. Falconer Chester Hall designed the main hotel area and Chequerbent Barns.