A plan to create a green corridor linking up some of the borough's most picturesque places has been put forward by local councillors, who want to turn an old golf course into a country park.

Ward councillors want to transform the old Harwood Open Golf course into Bolton's newest country park in a bid to save open spaces for future generations.

This would be located on the land next to Longsight Park, which would form an uninterrupted green corridor from the reservoirs to the north of the borough at Entwistle and Wayoh through Jumbles Country Park, connecting to the Kingfisher Trail, Longsight Park, the old golf course and Seven Acres Country Park.

Bradshaw and Harwood councillor Cllr Mudasir Dean initially raised the question over the green space’s potential at the recent meeting of the full council.

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It forms part of the councillors’ ideas for the ward, which includes working with United Utilities to take raw waste spillages out of Bradshaw Brook

The Bolton News: Picture Keith Rylance of Jumbles Country ParkPicture Keith Rylance of Jumbles Country Park (Image: Keith Rylance)

Cllr Leslie Webb said: “Green space is at the forefront of our pledges within the Bradshaw ward, and we must protect it all costs.

“I am encouraged to hear that following questions asked by myself and other Bradshaw councillors, we as the elected members are being invited to meet with executive cabinet members and officers to discuss our locality plan for the ward’s future, which can provide a lasting legacy for enjoyment, leisure, health and wellbeing benefit for residents across the borough.

“We are and currently working with United Utilities to inform residents be part of their £138m investment into tunnelling and tanking to take raw waste spillages out of Bradshaw Brook whilst the old golf course remains fallow only highlights its importance to being part of a future visionary green plan for Bradshaw and Harwood and its resident’s enjoyment.

“We have worked over many years with our dedicated Friends of Longsight Park and Harwood Groups with large sums of our ward funding going to create the maintain our open land and save it from reckless development and potential commercial profiteering.

“We have recently initiated an agreement with GMP and the council to protect the public space under a Section 59 of the Crime and Policing Act 2014 which will give the GMP greater powers to stop, seize and remove motor vehicles and motorbikes.”

Cllr Webb says that the potential creation of this country park will only be possible with the surrender or expiry of the current leasehold on the old golf course.

He added: “But knowing that ward councillors will part of the future and that this lease has a break in it in March 2026, we will be working flat out to push on as quickly as possible to create this legacy.”

This would be in line with the new Places for Everyone plan, which was also adopted by the council during the meeting.

Cllr Dean said that the vision for the park would be a legacy for future generations in Bolton.

In response the Executive Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, Cllr Richard Silvester said: “Officers are already working on way to protect our green spaces in perpetuity.

“And a second policy development group on this subject looked at how we can work with built-in trust to protect our valued parks and open spaces in the borough.

The Bolton News: Picture Leon P Wall. Entwistle ReservoirPicture Leon P Wall. Entwistle Reservoir (Image: Leon P Wall)

“I must highlight that the indebtedness of Longsight Park by the lease holder is a matter that is subject to current review by the council.

“With the attention of the corporate property team, with key input from other officer colleagues in other divisions such as finance and legal.

“Due to the nature of the matter and because it needs further review, I cannot comment on details until the process has been progressed sufficiently.

“However, officers will be seeking to meet with Bradshaw ward councillors in the near future in order to discuss the situation, as well as the suggestions that Cllr Dean has highlighted.”

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