Hulton Park Ryder Cup course plan 'called in'

image source, Peel
image captionThe plans include the restoration of Hulton Hall Estate

A public inquiry will be held to determine if plans to build a Ryder Cup standard golf course and 1,000 homes on green belt land can go ahead.

Bolton Council approved developer Peel's plans for part of the Grade II-listed Hulton Park in Westhoughton in March, despite hundreds of objections.

However, the decision was referred to the government because the scheme would use a large amount of green belt land.

The council said it "welcomed" the decision to "call in" the application.

The plan for Hulton Park, once home to the now-demolished Hulton Hall, is aimed at attracting the 2026 edition of the Ryder Cup, golf's biennial contest between teams from Europe and the United States.

A spa hotel would also be built and the park's original pleasure grounds restored.

Conservative MP Chris Green and Labour's Yasmin Qureshi wrote to the council to oppose the development, along with Westhoughton Town Council and hundreds of members of the public.

A planning officers' report said the scheme would cause "substantial harm" to the green belt, but the benefits of hosting the event, along with the restoration work, would "clearly outweigh" that issue.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has yet to set a date for the inquiry.

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