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12 Jan 2022

Peel L&P plans for Hulton Park receive recommendation for approval

Bolton Council’s planning officers have published their recommendation to approve Peel L&P’s ground-breaking restoration and redevelopment of Hulton Park into a sport and healthy living destination.

The officer’s report, which is prepared in advance of the Planning Committee meeting to be held on 20th January 2022, summarises the proposals, along with technical and consultee representations. Councillors in the Planning Committee will consider the application and the officer’s report, and make a decision about the proposals at the meeting on the 20th.

The Council’s planning officer recommends that councillors approve the application in the 65-page report, summarising that “there remains a particularly strong and unique case for the grant of planning permission. This case is stronger for the proposed development than it was for the consented scheme and reaching an overall conclusion that the cumulative benefits that would arise because of the development would clearly and significantly outweigh all harm identified and that the proposals would have a positive and transformational effect on Bolton and the wider Greater Manchester region, and it is a genuinely unique opportunity to secure long-lasting and wide-ranging benefits.”

Richard Knight, Peel L&P’s Director of Planning and Strategy, said: “We are delighted to see that Bolton Council’s officers see the overwhelming benefits of our planning application.

“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.

“We appreciate the feedback and support we have received from the local community as we have prepared this application. It has evolved considerably since the previous application that was approved by the Council and Secretary of State in 2020. It presents a refreshed vision for the site, reflecting local feedback and aspirations. It will deliver considerably more benefits for nearby communities in Over Hulton and Westhoughton and significantly reduces the number of new homes on Green Belt land.

“We look forward to making our case for the approval of the application to the Councillors at the Committee meeting on 20th January in line with their officer’s recommendation. This would enable us to proceed with the Ryder Cup bid, for which Hulton Park has been shortlisted and on which a final decision is expected to be made in a few months’ time.

So far, 75 residents in the local area have written in with their support to the planning department, along with a number of prominent organisations including The University of Bolton, GreaterSport, the Confederation of British Industry North West and Marketing Manchester.

If approved, Peel L&P’s plans will provide 15.6km of new and upgraded Public Rights of Way, including 3.8km of additional ‘permissive paths’ through Hulton Park, trails and cycle paths, further opening up the Estate to the public. It will deliver a new health and wellbeing hub, a leisure facility based on local needs, a new primary school, a village hall and a local village centre, inclusive to all local residents. New public open space, such as the Pretoria Park, will be made available, as well as one hectare for community allotments.

In addition to achieving a net gain in biodiversity value, the plans will unlock £1.6bn in socio-economic benefits for Bolton and the wider region over the next 20 years with the delivery of a championship-grade golf course that will underpin a bid to host the Ryder Cup. It will also create 1,000 jobs, apprenticeships and internships in partnership with local education providers. As one local resident put it, these plans will “lay the foundations for the next 30 years of investment in the area”.

This planning application is a refreshed vision of the proposals that had been approved by the Secretary of State in 2020. Since then, Peel L&P has revisited the plans to incorporate a number of important changes as a result of community feedback, in particular making the scheme more sustainable, inclusive and accessible as well as delivering more new community facilities for local people.

More about Hulton Park. 

Planning information

  • A public consultation on the refreshed proposals launched on Wednesday 2nd June and concluded on Wednesday 30th June 2021.
  • Peel L&P submitted a planning application for this refreshed proposal to Bolton Council in September 2021 – this has been the subject of a formal consultation twice.
  • Residents can continue to contact the team via the methods listed on the consultation website: hultonparkconsultation.co.uk.