The massive Hulton Park development which includes more than 1,000 homes and a Ryder Cup standard golf course have been recommended for approval.

The planning officer’s report, prepared in advance of the planning committee meeting on January 20 which will decide on the proposals, has been published by Bolton Council.

The plans by developers Peel, partially on green belt land between Bolton and Westhoughton, include up to 1,036 homes, an 18-hole championship golf course, a primary school, short stay holiday accommodation, a hotel, conference centre and a village hall.

The plans have been the subject of considerable and sustained opposition, with an initial public consultation receiving 589 letters of objection to the plans for the historic 1,000-acre estate.

A further consultation in advance of the decision next week is ongoing.

Seventy-five letters of support were also received.

In August 2020, the Communities Secretary granted planning permission for a similar plan for homes, a hotel, and a golf course to Peel on the condition it wins a bid to host the Ryder Cup in 2030 or 2034.

The current proposals are a refinement to those plans with Peel saying they have reduced the number of homes which will be built on green belt land and included more community facilities.

The council’s planning officer recommends that councillors approve the application in a 65-page report.

The summary states: “There remains a particularly strong and unique case for the grant of planning permission.

“This case is stronger for the proposed development than it was for the consented scheme and reaching an overall conclusion that the cumulative benefits that would arise because of the development would clearly and significantly outweigh all harm identified and that the proposals would have a positive and transformational effect on Bolton and the wider Greater Manchester region, and it is a genuinely unique opportunity to secure long-lasting and wide-ranging benefits.”

Westhoughton Town Council has objected, saying the site is not within the Bolton housing allocations and is in the green belt.

They say severe highways congestion problems will be created, the proposed access to the roundabout and a possible second roundabout will cause congestion on the A6 and motorway, and that existing infrastructure will not happen unless Peel Holdings funds schools, doctors and staff.

They added that the length of time for residents to comment on the proposal was too short.

Many of the 589 letters of objection echoed those concerns and a significant number of those opposed are expected to attend the planning committee meeting next week.

Richard Knight, Peel’s planning director, said: “We are delighted to see Bolton Council’s officers see the overwhelming benefits of our planning application.

“We strongly believe our vision for Hulton Park will create a sporting centre of excellence, not only bringing the Ryder Cup to Bolton but also developing a new generation of golfers and making the sport more accessible.

“The proposals will allow the public to access the park in a way that has never been possible before, creating new community facilities, public green spaces and new and improved footpaths and cycleways throughout the site.

“We appreciate the feedback and support we have received from the local community as we have prepared this application.

“It has evolved considerably since the previous application

“It presents a refreshed vision for the site, reflecting local feedback and aspirations.

“It will deliver considerably more benefits for nearby communities in Over Hulton and Westhoughton and significantly reduces the number of new homes on green belt.

“We look forward to making our case for the approval of the application to the councillors in line with their officer’s recommendation.

“This would enable us to proceed with the Ryder Cup bid, for which Hulton Park has been shortlisted and on which a final decision is expected to be made in a few months’ time.”