Hulton Park Green Belt housing and golf bid to be called in
The construction of an exclusive golf course, resort and home development at the Hulton Park Estate in Greater Manchester has been called in for review by government after the plans have been challenged by CPRE and the local community, who wish to protect the natural environment and preserve this important heritage site.
The ambitious £20 million development would see the Grade II registered Hulton Park & Gardens, as well as the surrounding 180 hectares of productive farmland and 88 hectares of woodland, transformed into a golf course and resort with hotel and spa, conference centre and over 1000 homes.
The planning application was initially approved by Bolton Council in March 2018, with a view to the golf course hosting the 2026 Ryder Cup Tournament. The site is on Green Belt land, so would ordinarily be unsuitable for development. But the Ryder Cup bid has been cited as “special circumstances” to allow planning to go ahead.
CPRE Lancashire has argues that is an unlawful planning condition which does not justify the associated harm inflicted on the Green Belt and local heritage. Even more so as the bid is considered by many unlikely to be successful.
We are encouraged that, along with the efforts of local campaigners, our challenge to the development has secured a public inquiry which will begin in October 2019.
After this, James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Government and Local Communities, will decide whether construction of the golf course and associated buildings and homes will be allowed to go ahead.
Local actress Maxine Peake and Hulton Estate Action Residents Together (HEART) have created a video outlining the importance of the estate to local people which can be seen below:
Maxine Peake shows her support for the Over Hulton campaign
Posted by Bolton News on Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Our objection letter, which can be downloaded below, sets out the ways in which the plans fall short of many important considerations for our environment and local community, including the excessive and inappropriate construction on Green Belt land, loss of heritage, damage to farmland and lack of affordable housing.
If the proposal is approved, our recommendations for improving the plans include:
- Make the viability assessment public
- Upgrade and enhance the heritage assets and public rights of way
- Retain important structures
- Revise the routes of proposed footpaths
Jackie Copley, Planning Manager said: “We strongly hope that a more appropriate and viable option will be examined to restore the Park and Gardens for enjoyment in the future by all, and that housing will be delivered on the abundant brownfield land resources that exist nearby.”