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

Friday, 04 August 2017 09:13

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 golf course through finance associated with an enabling residential development of 1,036 dwellings (with not a single affordable dwelling) on land that would otherwise be restricted by Green Belt designation. The site boundary includes 179.5 hectares of productive farmland, and 88.5 hectares 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 in its application to the Secretary of State that the purported benefit of the development is outweighed by the harm. Contrary to the purpose of Green Belt land, the development would cause the distinct places of Bolton and Wigan 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 will be ruined, with more than a million tonnes of earth works proposed to create fairways, greens, water features, bunkers, buggy tracks, clubhouse shops, restaurant, 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 enable the development of the golf course and will not contain a single affordable dwelling due to viability issues.

CPRE believes that even if Peel did include affordable dwellings which would actually address local need, the building of houses in this Green Belt protected area is entirely against the stated national, sub-regional (emerging in the form of the 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.

CPRE also recommends 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 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

 

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