I READ with interest your article about the granting of planning permission by Bolton Council for the proposed development of Hulton Park (March 16).

I noted that the "special circumstances" applied the the granting of planning permission for building on green belt land, was dependent upon Peel Holding's successful bid to host the Ryder Cup.

Will this also apply to the whole of the planning application, which includes building 1,000 homes, I wonder, or just to the golf course, club house, hotel, etc?

Call me a cynic, but my guess is that the bid for a Ryder Cup-style golf course is a means to get planning permission to build houses on green belt land.

This would set a precedent and force the council to grant permission for the further building of even more houses on Hulton Park when the Ryder Cup bid fails, which is inevitable since Bolton does not have the infrastructure to host such an event and there are so many more prestigious Ryder Cup venues in this country already.

Time will tell, of course, but I think, since building houses for sale is far more lucrative and a more secure investment for the developer than a golf course, luxury hotel and spa, etc, I have a pretty good idea what the outcome will be.

Peel Holdings describes Hulton Park as being "valuable land", but it knew it was Grade II listed green belt land when it bought it and, as such, would not be able to use it for building on.

Now it has come up with a "prestigious plan" to build a Ryder Cup standard golf course, but this has to include building 1,000 houses to make it economically viable.

Developers will consume the whole of what is left of green belt land if we let them.

Preserving green belt land is vital in urban areas for the health and well-being of their residents.

Let's hope Bolton Council has the sense to refuse planning for the 1,000 houses if the Ryder Cup plan falls through.

I await with interest.

Sharron Howard

Address supplied