Public Inquiry backs Peel L&Ps £250m plans for Hulton Park
A pubic inquiry has backed £250m plans for Bolton that could create 1,000 jobs and boost tourism and the local economy with the aim of bringing the Ryder Cup golf tournament to the town.
Independent Planning Inspector, Dominic Young, accepted Peel L&P’s case that its revised and improved plans for the Hulton Park Estate should not have been rejected by Bolton Council’s planning committee in February 2022.
The Inspector provided a quick decision following the Inquiry earlier this month, keeping hopes alive of Bolton being able to host this major international event.
After receiving a wide range of support at the Public Inquiry from influential local and regional organisations including The University of Bolton and Bolton College, GreaterSport, CBI North West, Greater Manchester Chamber, Marketing Manchester, Bolton Wanderers FC – and from members of the Bolton community – Peel L&P said it is now urging others to do the same to avoid a lost opportunity for future generations of Boltonians and the wider region.
Welcoming the Inspector’s decision Richard Knight, director of planning and strategy at Peel L&P, said: “We put forward a robust and compelling case at the Public Inquiry and are pleased that the Inspector has recognised the long term benefits a revitalised Hulton Park will bring to the economy of Bolton and the North West.
“This demonstrates that our plans are in the best interests of Bolton and local people and now is the time for Bolton to get behind the bid and support the development coming to the town to help secure a prosperous and exciting future for Bolton.”
He added: “We will continue to promote the unique offer Bolton and Hulton Park provides and look forward to the continued support it has had to date.”
The decision is the second time the Planning Inspectorate has backed plans to transform the unseen piece of Bolton’s heritage, with an initial Public Inquiry ruling in 2020 that Peel L&P’s previous proposals for Hulton Park should go ahead. The original plans were also approved by Bolton Council in 2018.
The decision concludes that very significant improvements have been made to the original scheme and confirms the very substantial social and economic benefits, as well as improvements, in terms of transport, heritage, ecology, green belt and sustainability together with weighty social and community benefits.
Hulton Park remains one of only two English venues shortlisted by UK Sport and Ryder Cup Europe for a prospective English bid for the 2031 Ryder Cup. More than 250,000 attended the previous event in Paris and the event has always drawn international attention.
Subject to a successful bid, Hulton Park would be game-changing for Bolton and Greater Manchester, delivering around £250m of private sector investment, creating more than 1,000 jobs overall, plus a range of skills opportunities, promoting health and wellbeing, and boosting local tourism and events.
Richard added: “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.
“We know that many people are genuinely excited about the prospects of one of the world’s greatest sporting events coming to Bolton, bringing many jobs, opportunities and international profile to the town.
“Our plans will also help to raise the bar for modern and sustainable championship golf developments. We will continue to develop these ideas and progress discussions with our partners. We will keep people updated and make further announcements in due course.”
Peel L&P’s revised plans provide greater community benefits and additional transport infrastructure and reduce the level of housebuilding within the Green Belt.
After many years of decline, 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.