Lancashire - Campaign to Protect Rural England

Skip to navigation

CPRE Lancashire objects to major planning application threatening Green Belt and registered historic park in Bolton

CPRE Lancashire has strongly objected to and recommended refusal of the hybrid planning application (Ref: 00997/17) for the major golf and housing development in the Over Hulton, Bolton by Peel Holdings.

CPRE Lancashire has also requested that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government calls in the planning application by Peel for a major golf and housing development in Green Belt land including Hulton Park and Garden (Grade II Registered Property), in Over Hulton, Bolton for his own decision taking.

The application sets out ambitious plans to deliver a Ryder Cup standard golf course through finance associated with an enabling residential development of 1,036 dwellings on Green Belt land. The site boundary includes 179.5 ha of productive farmland, 88.5 ha of woodland and the Grade II registered historic Hulton Park and Garden designed by famous garden designer William Eames (1729 – 1803).

CPRE Lancashire has argued that the claimed benefit of the development would be greatly outweighed by the harm to the Green Belt and other harms, so the “very special circumstances” required to justify the proposal would not exist.

Contrary to the purpose of the Green Belt, the development would cause the distinct places of of Over Hulton, Westhoughton and Atherton to merge and it is unsustainable on the grounds of loss of high-grade farmland, loss of special ecology, traffic congestion, and other adverse impacts.

In addition, the integrity of the original Eames influenced garden design would be ruined, with more than a million tonnes of earth works proposed to create fairways, greens, water features, bunkers, buggy tracks, clubhouse shops, restaurant and a hotel and conference centre with extensive car parking facilities.

The residential development of 1,036 houses is proposed on 56.03ha of land at three areas (Western Fields, Deardens Farm, Park End Farm). Peel Holdings claim that the housing development is necessary in order to finance the development of the golf course and plead viability issues to justify that none of the homes would be affordable.

CPRE believes that even if Peel were to include affordable homes, the building of houses in this Green Belt protected area would be entirely against the national, sub-regional (in the form of the emerging Greater Manchester Spatial Framework) and Local Plan policies.

In addition, there are already three golf courses in Bolton within two miles of the proposed site and in nearby Trafford, the Council is actually disposing of the 18-hole William Wroe Golf Course on the grounds of viability issues.

Without prejudice to our objections to this proposal, CPRE recommends, should the proposal be approved, that the heritage assets and public rights of way should be upgraded and enhanced by the developer, but no demolition of important structures should be permitted and the routes of footpaths should not be diverted around the boundary of a private, inaccessible, site as part of the proposed new “Hulton Trail”.

Jackie Copley, Planning Manager said:

“The plans are in our view a ‘Trojan Horse’, seemingly presenting an option for heritage restoration when in fact the golf course re-modelling will mutilate the historic landscape of noted importance.

The housing plans are completely imbalanced and actually prohibited in designated Green Belt which dictates that land be kept permanently open.

We strongly hope that a more appropriate and viable option will be examined by Peel and Bolton Council to restore the Park and Gardens for enjoyment in the future by all.”

 

Hybrid Planning Application:

PART A: FULL PLANNING APPLICATION FOR RESTORATION WORKS TO HULTON PARK AND EXISTING STRUCTURES & HERITAGE ASSETS WITHIN IT INCLUDING THE PLEASURE GROUNDS, DOVECOTE, WALLED GARDEN AND LAKES, AND DEVELOPMENT OF AN 18-HOLE GOLF COURSE & CLUBHOUSE-; GOLF ACADEMY INCLUDING DRIVING RANGE, PRACTICE COURSE, ADVENTURE COURSE & ACADEMY BUILDING WITH SPORTS & LEARNING FACILITIES, SHOP & CAFE; 142 BED HOTEL WITH ADJOINING SPA & CONFERENCE FACILITY; OTHER ANCILLARY BUILDINGS, STRUCTURES & ENGINEERING & LANDSCAPE WORKS INCLUDING A MAINTENANCE BUILDING, HALFWAY HOUSE, HIGHWAY ACCESSES, UNDERPASS, VARIOUS BRIDGES, BOUNDARY TREATMENTS, INTERNAL ACCESS ROADS, EXTERNAL LIGHTING, PARKING, LANDSCAPING; DEMOLITION OF EXISTING BUILDINGS/STRUCTURES; & WHERE APPLICABLE THE RE-ROUTING, UPGRADING AND EXTENSION OF THE PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY NETWORK

PART B: OUTLINE PLANNING APPLICATION FOR THE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT OF UP TO 1036NO. DWELLINGS, A LOCAL CENTRE (CLASS A1/A2/A3/A4/A5/D1) AND WHERE APPLICABLE RE-ROUTING, UPGRADING AND EXTENSION OF PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY NETWORK (ALL MATTERS RESERVED EXCEPT FOR (IN PART) HIGHWAYS) | LAND AT AND ADJACENT TO HULTON PARK, BOLTON

 

join us

Back to top

Winter Background Photo