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Hulton Park Reportedly Excluded From Borough's Housing Master Plan

Thursday, September 27th, 2018 11:32am

By Nick Statham - Local Democracy Reporter

It is understood that Hulton Park has not been included in the sites Bolton has put forward for development within the region’s 20-year masterplan.

Bolton Council last Friday submitted its initial draft to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, detailing potential housing sites to meet the borough’s demands.

And, while further discussions between city region leaders are due to take place, it is understood that the 23-acre site — which development giant Peel still has hopes of building 1,000 homes and Ryder Cup golf course on — is not including in the authority’s proposals.

Bolton Council leader Linda Thomas has also renewed her calls to have the plans thrown out by the government, after they were called in for a public inquiry by housing secretary James Brokenshire.

Despite being approved mainly on the votes of Labour planning committee members, Cllr Thomas does not believe it is the right way to deal with the future housing demand.

She said: “My views are well known, I’ve fought over-development in the borough for 30 years and I do not believe that this is the right way to deal with the housing crisis. Our priority is brownfield first and our £1 billion masterplan is leading the way on this.”

She added: “Despite my disappointment, Bolton’s planning committee is independent and it approved the application in-line with the government’s planning guidance.

This is a chance for the government to set a new direction and to prove it is serious about protecting our green belt.”

Westhoughton North and Chew Moor Conservative Councillor Martyn Cox said the chances the government rejecting Peel’s plans would be improved if Hulton Park was not included in the spatial framework.

He said: “It helps because they are not going to be able to say ‘look, it says here the Mayor says it’s a good idea. It will help not including it, but we can’t assume that it’s game over.

“We have to bear in mind that Peel has received planning permission from Bolton Council and that’s now in the hands of the government. I would have thought that if it was in the spatial framework it would be game over – it would have been very hard to fight it, but if it isn’t they have still got planning permission.”

A revised Greater Manchester Spatial Framework draft is expected to go out to consultation in October.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham ordered a “radical rewrite” of the blueprint after a huge backlash against the loss of green belt included in the original draft.

It was expected in July but delayed after new figures showed that the population was not due to grow as rapidly as earlier thought

The final GMSF plan is expected to be published in July 2019 and will need to be ratified by each council.

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