Row over plans for huge golf course in Bolton

Credit: M.E.N Syndication

A decision is set to be made on a £240m plan to build a Ryder Cup standard golf course - and 1,000 homes - on greenbelt land.

Hundreds of people are expected to protest before council leaders consider controversial proposals for Hulton Park estate in Bolton on Thursday.

The vast 800-acre plot was once owned by the aristocratic family which inspired Downton Abbey.

The proposal is by The Peel Group, which owns the land stretching from Over Hulton to Westhoughton.

The plan is for an 18-hole championship course - ready for the 2026 Ryder Cup - as well as 1,061 homes and a luxury 142-bed hotel.But hundreds of objectors are expected at Bolton Town Hall to lobby councillors ahead of the important planning meeting.

Over-development on green belt, on this grand scale, will create even more congestion at a time when Greater Manchester is making strides with the launch of the green agenda, to curb carbon emissions and improve air quality. “We need the right homes in the right places, but the population, and pressure on Westhoughton’s roads, have surged out of all proportion.

Linda Thomas, Leader of Bolton Council

Hulton Park is a crumbling treasure in desperate need of major investment. At Peel, we want to restore the park and build world-class golfing, tourism and community facilities, giving the area a real boost. “The development will be at the heart of the local community, providing local jobs and training.

John Whittaker, Chairman, The Peel Group