Potential English Ryder Cup Course Plans Approved After Appeal

Plans to transform Bolton's historic Hulton Park have received support after a public inquiry

A CGI image of Hulton Park hosting the Ryder Cup
(Image credit: Peel L&P)

The chance of England hosting the 2031 Ryder Cup appeared to move a step closer after a public inquiry supported a real estate company's plans to transform Bolton's historic Hulton Park Estate into a potential venue for the tournament.

The plans were rejected by Bolton Council’s planning committee in February. However, following an appeal, Independent Planning Inspector Dominic Young has now accepted the Peel L&P's argument that they should not have been. The revised plans include greater community benefits and additional transport infrastructure, as well as a reduction of housebuilding within the Green Belt in an effort to restore Hulton Park after years of decline and open it for community access for the first time in its 700-year history. 

A CGI image of the proposed at Hulton Park redevelopment

(Image credit: Peel L&P)

Richard Knight, Director of Planning and Strategy at Peel L&P, said: “We put forward a robust and compelling case at the public inquiry and are pleased that the Inspector has recognised the long-term benefits a revitalised Hulton Park will bring to the economy of Bolton and the North West. This demonstrates that our plans in the best interests of Bolton and local people and now is the time for Bolton to get behind the bid and support the development coming to the town."

The decision marks the latest step to bring the proposal to fruition after original plans were approved by Bolton Council in 2018. Following that, an initial public inquiry in 2020 ruled that Peel L&Ps previous plan for Hulton Park should go ahead, before the setback earlier this year.

Hulton Park is one of two English venues, along with Kent’s London Club, shortlisted by UK Sport and Ryder Cup Europe for a prospective English bid for the 2031 Ryder Cup. The latest decision states that significant improvements have been made to the original plans and highlights the potential social and economic benefits as well as other advantages including improvements in transport, ecology and sustainability. It is also estimated that if Hulton Park hosts the Ryder Cup, it will deliver around £250 million of private sector investment and create over 1,000 jobs.

A CGI image of the proposed driving range at Hulton Park

(Image credit: Peel L&P)

Knight added: “We have always been committed to realising our vision for Hulton Park, proposals that will restore and revitalise the historic park while making golf more inclusive, providing better community facilities, more quality housing and improved transport infrastructure in addition to our significant contributions to make the development net zero. Our plans will also help to raise the bar for modern and sustainable championship golf developments. We will keep people updated and make further announcements in due course.”

The proposals received widespread support at the public inquiry, including from the University of Bolton and Bolton College, Greater Manchester charity GreaterSport, business lobbying organisation CBI North West, Greater Manchester Chamber, Marketing Manchester, and the town’s professional football club Bolton Wanderers. 

If England is selected for the 2031 Ryder Cup, it will be the first time the country has hosted the event since 2002.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.