A CAMPAIGN group fighting against a Ryder Cup golf course development is taking its battle to the Prime Minister.

Hulton Estate Area Residents Together (HEART) have been protesting against Peel's plan to build the course and 1,036 homes since they surfaced last year and have continued the fight since it was approved by Bolton Council in March. After sending hundreds of letters to the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the group is now seeking to lobby Prime Minister Theresa May in its bid to call in the decision.

Sandra Hesketh, secretary, said: "We are absolutely not giving up the fight. Even if it's only a slim chance of a public enquiry.

"This will not go away and even if the enquiry does not happen, Peel still need to get the Ryder Cup for it to go ahead."

The letter the group is urging people to send to the Prime Minister has been published on its Facebook page and is available to pick up from members.

It calls on Mrs May to push the new Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire to make his own determination on the application.

It reads: "The application will destroy a significant National Heritage asset, which had been in the ownership of one family for almost 1,000 years.

"The proposed removal of 23 acres of mature trees conflicts with the Queen's forest conservation plan of a Green Commonwealth Planet.

"The removal of 3km of mature hedges will devastate wildlife and the moving of one million tonnes of earth to create bunkers will desecrate the work of the 18th century landscape architect William Emes."

As well as the 18-hole golf course and houses, the approved development also includes 142-bed hotel and spa complex with 150 parking spaces, a golf clubhouse, a driving range and academy, a shop and a restaurant.

Peel is hoping that the course will host the Ryder Cup tournament in 2026.

As per the terms of the planning permission, the developer would have to win the bid before it starts work on the scheme.

The proposal was narrowly approved during a meeting of Bolton Council's planning committee held in March.

Eight members voted in favour while seven voted against. It had been recommended for approval by planning officers.

Those arguing in its favour believed the potential economic benefits of the development outweighed the harm caused by loss of green belt.

Following the decision, a spokesman for Peel Land and Property said: "We are delighted with the decision by Bolton’s planning committee to approve this ground-breaking scheme, which offers a sporting facility of international quality and reputation at Hulton Park.

"This positive move by the committee is a huge step forward in our shared vision of bringing the world’s third largest sporting event – the Ryder Cup - to Hulton Park, with huge economic and social benefits for the people of Bolton.

"Greater Manchester is already home to many iconic sporting and cultural venues, in keeping with its growing global status. We believe that the Hulton Park development and the huge potential of the Ryder Cup would greatly enhance Manchester’s international standing in the sporting world.

"The strategic fit for Bolton Council is immense – investment and tourism; jobs and skills; sport, recreation and health; heritage and biodiversity, new homes and transport infrastructure.

"The process for selecting and awarding the next Ryder Cup venue is due to commence after this year’s event in September, which is being staged in Paris. The Government, specifically UK Sport and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, wants to bring the Ryder Cup to England as part of its national Sporting Future strategy. Hulton Park is in a strong position. It has the right site and the right masterplan, the right location in a part of the country where nothing similar exists, with Peel as the delivery partner.

"It has a distinct advantage in being a new, bespoke venue, specifically designed to meet the ever-growing needs for course specification and tournament staging. Today’s decision means we can now progress our business planning and work closely with the European Tour prior to the selection decision later in the year.”