Public Inquiry opens into Hulton Park plans
Ambitious plans to put Bolton on the international sporting map and restore a historic and unseen piece of the town’s heritage will be heard this week at a public inquiry.
The inquiry – taking place at the Holiday Inn, Bolton on October 6 and 7 – follows Bolton Council’s rejection of landowner Peel L&P’s revised and improved plans for the historic Hulton Park estate earlier this year.
Previous proposals for Hulton Park were approved by the Council in 2018 and the UK Secretary of State in 2020.
However, the Council’s Planning Committee then refused the revised plans in February 2022.
Peel L&P said the project would be a “game-changer for Bolton and Greater Manchester,” delivering around £250m of private sector investment, creating over 1,000 jobs overall and boosting local tourism and events.
The plans are underpinned by bringing The Ryder Cup to Bolton, and would be complemented by regular golf, community and other events.
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.
Ahead of the Inquiry, new images of the planned Academy and golf course have been released.
A key part of Peel L&P’s extensive legacy plans for the Championship golf course, the Academy will provide Bolton and Greater Manchester with a high-quality grassroots facility including a modern driving range, learning spaces, adventure course and a par 3 course, where young and inexperienced golfers can learn the game.
Peel L&P has worked closely with golf bodies to create a vision for Hulton Park being a hub of inclusive golf for the country. A new image of The Ryder Cup event shows the scale of the spectacle at Hulton Park.
The revised plans provide greater community benefits and additional transport infrastructure and reduce the level of housebuilding within the Green Belt.
Hulton Park would be restored and opened-up for community access for the first time in its 700-year history, delivering 15km of new and improved public walking and cycling trails for families, residents and visitors to enjoy.
Richard Knight, Director of Planning and Strategy at Peel L&P 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 world’s premier sporting events – to Bolton would be an Olympic moment for the town, but our proposals are about so much more.
“There would be regular golf events but also a venue for conferencing, staycations, days out – all of which would help regenerate the area. The plans include new facilities and infrastructure for the community, and much-needed new homes with a reduced impact on the Green Belt than our previously approved plans.”
He added: “By opening Hulton Park to the public for the first time in history, local people will benefit from vastly improved access to greenspace including new and improved public walking and cycling trails in the historic parkland.
“Our successful Hulton Park Happenings events this summer – and others taking place later this month – are demonstrating the Park’s potential to host a range of community events long into the future.”