Updated Oct 31, 2022

Log in →

Green belt golf course to go ahead after appeal

Following an appeal, a large-scale development in Bolton has been approved despite the fact that it could harm the green belt.

Peel L&P Investments (North) Limited was given approval in 2020 for an earlier version of the development. The original proposal included 1,036 homes, a primary school and a golf course. Despite having permission, the plan was altered when the developer talked to Ryder Cup Europe, meaning modified plans had to be submitted for approval.

The modified plans included changes to the design of the golf course, a hotel and new community facilities which would result in a Ryder Cup standard golf course. However, these plans were not approved by Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council because around 80% of the proposal would be in the green belt. An appeal against this decision was made by the developer. 

The planning inspector found that the development would harm the openness of the area, though admitted that the new proposal was more appropriate than the original consented development, which would have a layout with a greater impact on the green belt.

In their assessment of the modified plans the inspector found:

  • it would be less intrusive on heritage assets than the original scheme;
  • public access to the historic core of Hulton Park - a grade II listed registered park - would be increased;
  • the proposal would deliver multiple benefits, including job creation and an economic impact of around £1.6 billion.

The inspector also noted that if this modified proposal was refused, then the developer could go ahead with the earlier plans which had gained approval and which, in their opinion, would harm the green belt more than the new proposal. The earlier plans would also not result in any heritage benefit, whilst the new plan does.

The inspector allowed the appeal because of the benefits of the scheme and permission was therefore granted.

View all stories