Golf club’s future thrown into doubt following new housebuilding plan

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 3, 2019 05:31

A golf club that was saved earlier this year, when plans to build 300 homes on it were thrown out by a government inspector, is facing an uncertain future again.

According to The Bolton News, a building company has put in a revised plan to build 276 houses at Horwich Golf Club.

Peel L&P acquired the golf club in 2012 and first submitted the housing proposal in 2017.

The company has said that whatever decision is taken, Horwich Golf Club will be allowed to continue using the site until at least 2023.

The plans were first rejected by the council in 2018, before Peel appealed the decision and it was put to a public inquiry.

However, this August planning inspector John Felgate said the land was part of a “valued landscape” and that the harm caused to the area would be “substantial”.

But Peel bosses now say they have taken on board the advice from the government’s inspector and have altered the plans, with a reduction of two hectares and 24 homes from the rejected plans, which they say will now help to protect the area’s views.

Philip Rothwell, Peel L&P’s planning director said: “We’ve listened to local people’s concerns and the inspector’s recommendations about the impact on the landscape and have made a number of changes to our plans to retain and further enhance the area’s surroundings.

“There is a significant shortfall of housing in Bolton and our proposals will help the council to meet its five-year supply on non-greenbelt land with benefits to local education, transport and recreational facilities for the community.”

In the plans are provisions for a mix of homes for sale including apartments, bungalows and two to five-bed family properties. A third would also be earmarked for people with affordable housing needs, says the company.

The land is currently designated as Other Protected Open Land (OPOL), which means it does not benefit from the same protections as green belt sites.

However, a bid to put the site in the green belt resulted in it being included in Bolton’s submission to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

This means that, if the latest draft of the region’s masterplan for homes, jobs and the environment is approved, Horwich Golf Club would have green belt status.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 3, 2019 05:31
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