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

Hulton Park is still in the running to host the Ryder Cup in 2031. Credit: via Peel L&P

Peel wins Hulton Park appeal… again

The Planning Inspectorate has once more ruled in favour of the developer’s £250m plans to build a Ryder Cup-standard golf course, more than 1,000 homes, a primary school, and more in Bolton.

Bolton Council rejected Peel L&P’s scheme in February, despite it being recommended for approval by the council’s planning officers. The reasons for refusal centred around the impact on clean air and watercourses and a conflict with Green Belt policy.

This is the second time the Planning Inspectorate has ruled in favour of development at Hulton Park by Peel. The developer won an appeal regarding an earlier version of the project in 2020.

The newer version of the scheme, submitted by planning consultant Turley, had been crafted to address some of the concerns from the previously approved project. Adjustments were made to reduce the impact on Green Belt and the number of proposed homes, as well as increase the number of community spaces.

During the inquiry for this new version, Peel informed inspector D. M. Young that if the newer version was rejected that the developer would simply move forward with the older, approved plans.

Inspector Young admitted this played a factor in the decision to grant the appeal to Peel. Also a factor: the fact that Bolton Council opted to not defend its decision at the inquiry and fellow objector and protest group Hulton Estates Area Residents Together withdrew its involvement.

Regarding the council’s reasons for refusal, Young noted that “there would still be very substantial harm to the Green Belt” under the new proposals, however, the benefits of the scheme “are of such magnitude that they clearly outweigh the identified Green Belt and non-Green Belt harms”.

These benefits include increasing biodiversity through crafting new habitats, bringing new homes and jobs to an area of need, and enhancing heritage assets.

Regarding the clean air and watercourse concerns, the inspector found that the development is in line with policy and would not have a significant impact on either.

Richard Knight, director of planning and strategy at Peel L&P, welcomed the inspector’s decision and said the developer was ready to move forward with its plans.

Knight said: “We have always been committed to realising our vision for Hulton Park, proposals that will restore and revitalise the historic park while making golf more inclusive, providing better community facilities, more quality housing, and improved transport infrastructure in addition to our significant contributions to make the development net zero.

“We want to continue working with the council and local stakeholders and residents to maximise the huge economic, social, and environmental benefits of this unique and game-changing opportunity.”

Peel’s Hulton Park plans are linked to the area being selected to host the Ryder Cup in 2031. Hulton Park is one of only two venues in the country shortlisted for hosting duties.

If the Ryder Cup comes to Bolton, Peel’s plans will be carried out on the 880-acre site, of which 83% is Green Belt.

These plans include constructing a championship-grade golf resort with a golf course, clubhouse, academy, and hotel complex. The project also features 1,036 homes, a village hall, community allotments, a primary school, holiday accommodation, and various retail and leisure units.

The project and design team for Hulton Park includes Parkinson, LUC, European Golf Design, Hope Architects, Leach Rhodes Walker, Frank Whittle Partnerships, and Falconer Chester Hall.

The appeal’s reference number with the Planning Inspectorate is APP/N4205/W/22/3299644.

The reference number for the planning application with Bolton Council is 12218/21.

Bolton Council has been unlucky with appeals this year. The council lost two appeals earlier this month to Bellway regarding the housebuilder’s Bowlands Hey neighbourhood.

Your Comments

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Genius Politicians at Bolton Council! Lose one appeal, Peel then seek to improve the scheme, refuse that scheme, lose second appeal with Peel having the backstop of the original scheme that won at the first appeal. Oh and the Council can’t be bothered to defend their refusal at the second appeal. Stunning stuff.

By Anonymous

Bolton Council made a mess of this application, should never had needed an appeal. Personally i still question the whole golf club vision when they are building on one in Horwich. From day one this was always eventually going to get built.


I think the point in the article about it being one of only two venues in the country competing to host in 2031 is a little misleading, the way it reads implies it will be in England, which isn’t a forgone conclusion and is potentially up against other European countries such as Portugal waiting patiently to be awarded their first Ryder Cup as well as Spain and others expressing an interest, with built and ready to go courses with established pedigrees, besides, does the North West need another golf course where fees for other Ryder cup courses are usually upwards of £200 per round, this does seem as fanciful as Peels other visions such as building skyscrapers on the Mersey which a decade on has amounted to very little leaves me with little confidence even within a decade they could deliver what would need to be a world class golf course, and get picked against many other, already world class, golf courses

By Anon

The traffic in Westhoughton is already bad in enough. Improvements to the road capacity need to be made if a development of this size is going ahead.

By Nick

Great scheme, glad it’ll be built and so good to see new homes getting built


I do hope Peel applied for a cost award, what a disgrace Bolton Council elected members are; wasting council tax payers money, throwing their officers under the bus – no wonder they didn’t want to defend it; who would want to defend the moronic behaviour of local councillors who ignore officer recommendations on planning matters? Well done Peel, a great scheme which will add so much value to Bolton economically…. And then the council leaders will be all over it claiming their brilliance in leadership for what it has created locally.

By Anonymous

What about volume of traffic, bad enough already at peak times?

By Anonymous

NIMBYs lost again! Get in, I shall be popping open the fizz tonight.

By New Wave

This is yet another dream scheme which will never happen, apart from the 1000 houses. Then we will hear the ,” oh , dear, the Portuguese have got the Ryder Cup, and our golf course is now unviable.”

By Emma Peel

Wonder how many other major appeals Bolton have had allowed, and whether that could put them in a precarious position with regards to special measures?

By JohnMac

I think most people have missed a comment made by Richard Knight that says and I quote ” If the Ryder Cup comes to Bolton, Peel’s plans will be carried out”. The operative word here is IF, we need to know when the plan on starting the construction and what will happen IF the Ryder Cup doesn’t come to Bolton.

By Maureen

Peel up to there usual tricks. It’s the same around Salford. We beat them 3 times. It can be done!

By Anonymous

Ryder cup in Bolton? It will never happen.

By Anonymous

No mention is made of any road improvements – new or widening.
Junctions 4 & 5 of the M61 together with the dial carriage-way to Chequebent Roundabout are “snarled” up with traffic every evening. With 1000 plus home together with other retail and community facilities, the likely increase in car numbers might be in excess of 2000.
Have Peel answered all Local Authority questions surrounding the likely congestion which will result.

By Robin Magee

Whilst it would be good to have 4 days of high level international golf, the rest of us who live here will have to put up with the impact of the development for the remainder of our days. The roads are already gridlocked at peak times and this development will only make it worse, but I guess the good folk at Peel will be pleased to see their profits go up……truly shocking decision by our beloved hopeless government inspector.

By Tired resident

Has nobody told them that the Ryder Cup is now pretty much finished with huge number of golfers deserting to the new Saudi golf tour.

By Anonymous

Interesting though that under our new P.M’s proposals this wouldn’t be allowed.
Shame really.
The whole green belt thing needs a revisit.
Most people think that Green Belt is the countryside.
Great result however.
Well done.

By Jerry Stone

I Bet the golf course gets homes built on it

By Anonymous

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