Plans to create an international golf destination in Bolton capable of hosting top-flight tournaments have been given the go ahead by the UK government.
The plans for the 1,000-acre estate include a 142-bed hotel, spa and conference centre, a championship golf course, a golf academy, and the provision of 1,036 new homes.
Following a three-week public inquiry last October, the application was ‘called in’ by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick, who, after further consultation, has now given the planning application his seal of approval on the condition that the estate wins a bid to host the Ryder Cup in 2030 or 2034.
Hulton Park Estate, which is classified as green belt land, could see the international golf destination open in 2025, with site owners Peel Land & Property saying that the development could benefit the local and national economy to the tune of £1.2 billion in terms of jobs, participation, health development and tourism, as well as securing future major sporting events.
Richard Knight, Director of Land and Communities for Peel L&P, said: “We take great pride in creating projects that can leave a positive legacy. Our plans for Hulton Park can deliver an amazing global sporting destination capable of hosting major tournaments as well as a catalyst for positive change, healthy living, heritage restoration and tourism in Bolton.
“The proposals can also bring much-needed housing to the borough and the development is both respectful to the area’s heritage and the environment with original roads and footpaths retained and the creation of new wildlife habitats to enhance biodiversity.
“We’re incredibly pleased that the Secretary of State recognises all of these benefits alongside our vision for Hulton Park and this decision allows us to move to the next stage of making the project a reality.”
David Chadwick, chair of Hulton Estate Area Residents Together, which opposed the plans, said: “Quite frankly, I’m appalled by the fact the inspector and the government decided to approve the planning application – I’m devastated. I will be completely gobsmacked if they get the Ryder Cup in either of those years, I don’t wish to disrespect our town, but it beggars belief that it could take place in Bolton.”