RESIDENTS have voiced further opposition to the controversial Hulton Park estate development, hoped to be the "legacy" of the Peel Group founder.

The development plans include the building of a golf course for the 2026 Ryder Cup and over 1,000 houses on the Grade II-listed, 800-acre plot. The application was approved by Bolton Council's planning committee eight votes to seven, but was called in by the government for a final decision at public inquiry.

Members of local group Heart (Hulton Estate Area Residents Together) have been fighting the Peel Land and Property application. They are now speaking out against Hulton Park's appearance in the Greater Manchester Spacial Framework — the 20-year masterplan for housing in the region.

In the draft plan, Hulton Park estate is not allocated for housing, meaning the area will remain protected green belt if the masterplan is approved. However, Heart members raised concerns around a reference made to the estate in another section of the framework.

The masterplan states: "The restoration of Hulton Park, and the provision of a Ryder Cup standard golf course and associated leisure and tourism facilities, will be supported."

At a Heart meeting on Tuesday evening, members said the mention of support will work against their campaign to stop the Peel application at the October inquiry.

A Heart organiser, Sylvia Pendlebury, said: "It will tilt it against us in favour of the council."

Members also suggested that the framework should have included that the potential golf course and housing depends on a successful bid for Bolton to host the 2026 Ryder Cup specifically.

Bolton Council leader Linda Thomas says it's now up to the Secretary of State James Brokenshire, who will make the final decision, but does not feel the draft masterplan will have a big impact.

Cllr Thomas, who is not on the planning committee, said: "He's got to listen to everyone. One line in a Greater Manchester Spatial Framework is exactly that. It's because we passed it as a council."

Peel chairman John Whittaker had his first meeting with Cllr Thomas earlier this year.

During the meeting, Mr Whittaker expressed his wishes for the controversial Hulton Park estate plans.

Cllr Thomas said: "I don't agree with all this housing. I was trying to explain that people have things they feel strongly about. People love the woodland and the park and they want to protect it. I think he understood that.

"He said [Hulton Park development] was something that was very dear to him and he wanted to leave a legacy. He felt he was doing something good for the area.

The councillor added: "We've done as much as we possibly can. It's completely out of my hands."

Heart are now renewing their efforts to create a "mass opposition to the Hulton Park development".

Heart secretary, Sandra Hesketh said: "It's us against Peel. David against Goliath. Never forget that David won."