CAMPAIGNS against plans to build a luxury golf course and more than 1,000 homes in Bolton have won a ‘huge victory’, their MP says.
It comes after Bolton Council voted 15-1 to reject the £200million plans for Hulton Park, submitted by developer Peel L&P.
Proponents of the plan claimed it could have been a huge boost to the borough’s prestige and economy. But opponents feared the potential environmental damage, greater congestion on the roads and greater pressure on community facilities.
Bolton West MP Chris Green said: “I think local residents are concerned about the development for a range of reasons.
“It’s huge for them that the council overwhelmingly rejected the current plans, but now we need assurances about the future of Hulton Park.”
Hulton Estate Area Residents Together (HEART) activists say they are relieved by the decision.
HEART secretary Sandra Hesketh said: “If it hadn’t been for the Ryder Cup evasion, it would have been immediately dismissed. It’s a sophomore ranked green belt.”
Artist’s impression of plans for Hulton Park
She added: “Look, they have enough golf courses, some people have mentioned in the council room, there are a lot of golf courses, they are all fighting for people.
“We don’t need another golf course. What people don’t seem to realize is they’re thinking ‘oh great, we’re going to have a Ryder Cup’. It’s not certain, I think it could go to Sweden or the United Arab Emirates.”
Another HEART member who spoke out against the plans at the meeting was Wesoughton resident Phil Wood.
Speaking after the meeting, he said: “Although there is a current debate about major sporting events in the upgrade portfolio, golf is not the right sport to capture the public mood. or the political agenda in Bolton.”
Peel officials say they will consider their options alongside their partners before deciding on their future course.
Richard Knight, their Director of Planning and Strategy, said: “Since 2018, we have worked hard with local residents and stakeholders to tailor our proposals to reflect community aspirations for the site with fewer homes on greenbelt land and a range of facilities including a new school, health and wellness centre, public footpaths and transport improvements.”