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SALFORD COUNCIL CHICKENS OUT OF PEEL HOLDINGS FARM FIGHT
 

Star date: 21st September 2011

SALFORD COUNCIL BACKS DOWN OVER BURGESS FARM

Having refused Peel Holdings planning permission to build on the greenfield site of Burgess Farm in Walkden in July, Salford Council is now chickening out of taking on the huge developers at a Public Inquiry.

This means that residents have been left to battle Peel on their own. And the latest news the Salford Star is hearing is that there might not be a Public Inquiry at all.

Full story here…


Burgess Farm Fight Salford Burgess Farm Fight Salford
click image to enlarge

"The Council will resist the appeal and defend its decision to refuse the planning application" Councillor Derek Antrobus, Planning Lead Member July 2011

"It has been resolved by the Council that it will not defend either reason for refusal at the Inquiry" September 2011 

Last July, amidst some of the most chaotic scenes ever witnessed at a planning meeting, Salford councillors eventually decided to refuse Peel Holdings outline permission to build 350 houses on the greenfield site of Burgess Farm in Walkden.

At that meeting, before the decision to refuse was finally passed, Councillor Derek Antrobus, the Council's Lead Member for Planning who was in support of Peel's plans, had tried to get the decision nulled, to cries of `cheat' and `disgrace' from the public gallery (see here for full background).

A few weeks after the decision to refuse planning permission was passed, Peel Holdings informed Salford Council that, not only was it intending to appeal against the democratic decision of the planning committee, but that it was to demand full costs from the Council (ie Salford tax payers) to pay for that appeal (see here).

Even Councillor Antrobus put out a statement which read "The Council will resist the appeal and defend its decision to refuse the planning application".  But residents learned yesterday that Salford Council was now backing down and won't defend any appeal by Peel Holdings at a Public Inquiry.

A letter sent by the Council's joint venture company, Urban Vision, to local residents states "It has been resolved by the Council that it will not defend either reason for refusal at the Inquiry".

The reasons given for the refusal at the planning panel in July were the negative impact of traffic from the new development, and that Salford Council didn't need to build on a greenfield site to meet its housing supply.

Now the Council via Urban Vision states that having "taken legal advice on these matters…it is now clear that the reasoning around not releasing a greenfield site at the time the Panel made its decision…cannot now be substantiated."

It continues… "In short the Council cannot produce evidence at the Inquiry that will show it has, as required by the Government, a 5 year deliverable housing supply."

The letter also quotes a whole load of ConDem Government planning gobbledegook about extra land being given over to housing.

It adds that, on the impact of traffic from the 350 houses, "it will be extremely difficult…to show there would be a material adverse impact on the highway network...The absence of such would most likely be seen as unreasonable behaviour by the Council thus attracting an award of costs."

The letter to residents concludes: "It has been resolved by the Council that it will not defend either reason for refusal at the Inquiry" and adds, very graciously "As a local resident your representations will still be considered by the Planning Inspectorate and you are able to attend the Inquiry as previously advised."

Since that letter was posted to residents, because Salford Council has ducked out of defending the Burgess Farm site, the Salford Star now understands that there won't be a Public Inquiry at all.

We understand that Peel Holdings will re-submit its application to Salford Council, which will be fast-tracked to another Planning Panel – but this time the councillors will pass the plans for the destruction of the greenfield site.

Residents may well be wondering what the hell is going on - and, er, who runs this city...

• A democratically elected panel of councillors refuses a big developer planning permission
• The Council's Lead Member for Planning tries to get that decision voided but fails.
• Big developer appeals against the decision and takes it to a Public Inquiry, demanding costs.
• Council states that it got its facts wrong and might lose the Inquiry. Council rolls over and allows big developer a free hand to destroy greenfield site.
• Residents left in lurch, scratching heads wondering where democracy lies in Salford.

 

* Anyone who wishes to oppose the ConDem Government's new planning proposals can sign the Planning For People petition here, along with over 37,000 other people... https://www.planningforpeople.org.uk/?campid=PLAN1#firstUnit
 

 

Mr Smith wrote
at 08:47:31 on 05 November 2011
As a council tax payer of Salford, I have a right to say where my money is spent. The council leaders are public servants who are paid by the people, for people for the people. They therefore should listen to what we say. REFUSE PEEL HOLDINGS PLANNING APPLICATION and fight them through the courts. You have my permision to use my council tax money. Salford and Trafford council need to stand together, you cant keep letting Peel walk all over you, show some guts, we the people are all behind you.
 
Partners wrote
at 09:31:33 on 27 September 2011
As Salford go hand in hand with some division of peel holdiings through various venture companies, we can hardly expect them to fight their own partners can we?
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 06:38:08 on 27 September 2011
Are you for real Mr Jones? Look around Langworthy & Kersal where there are wide open spaces that housing could be built on. This is just the latest round of th Council bending over for Peel Holdings. Who is in control of this City? Anwers in a plain brown envelope addressed to the 'fun house'.
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 06:38:02 on 27 September 2011
David Jones have a look around this city and see all the plots of land with grass and knee rails. Why not build on these and leave the green space alone. But No the knee railed areas are not owned by PEEL and we all know they need to make a buck or two. Why can't the council sell off these plots to developers and make some money and in doing so address the housing shortage.
 
RED DAVE wrote
at 06:37:57 on 27 September 2011
Of course people need to live somewhere . Just remember this country is swamped with outsiders thanks to the deranged policies of lunatic government traitors . Without this uncontrolled influx there would be no housing crisis . The government traitors may do something about this when it affects them personally . As we are in dumpsalford the corrupt traitors do not give a shit .
 
@David Jones wrote
at 06:37:21 on 27 September 2011
Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the build, you must surely see that there is little sense in the Council even having a vote on this issue if it is not prepared to defend the outcome of the vote in the courts? The precedent set by this event basically means that any 'democratic' decision can be overturned by a large corporation prepared to threaten a judicial review. It does rather shift the balance of power away from the electorate and into the hands of the powerful.
 
David Jones wrote
at 21:29:07 on 26 September 2011
People need to live somewhere. On this very page you have a link on the right to an article about how Salford is one of the most cramped places in the country, with tiny apartments having to be squeezed into the city centre. Finally a development comes along that will expand the city and allow decent sized affordable homes for our kids and grandkids to live in. Yet all the NIMBYs can do is whine about the effects it will have on their house prices. There aren't enough houses in Salford to meet demand (the council just admitted it got its facts wrong when they initially claimed there was 5 years of capacity in the city), and developments like these are breath of fresh air to aspiring first-time buyers like me
 
Laura Foster wrote
at 04:33:12 on 25 September 2011
This is senseless, the motive behind this is clear to us all... money. What ever happened to democracy?! Please show your support for local residents by signing our petition to stop the Burgess Farm Development, simply follow this link and please pass it on to others http://www.ipetitions.com/widget/view/358038
 
caroline wrote
at 04:16:35 on 23 September 2011
I am gald you all understand they are hand in glove..Maybe you will now understand about Bindloss...We need to surport each other or we can never move forward..The Star is your voice...Surport this paper....It is for all people...Without it you may have no voice......
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 14:51:14 on 22 September 2011
Why don't the 'crazy gang' just admit that Peel Holdings actually control what happens in Salford. Why vote at all when we know that whoever is elected Peel Holdings will call the shots.
 
Mark Armstrong wrote
at 18:32:58 on 21 September 2011
democracy in Salford thats a joke, however you all had a chance to vote and look at the clowncil you have chose. Congratulations on not breaking the cycle of crap local government for nearly 40 years. Labour you really are a bunch of useless old fools, please resign and stop treating your council position as a pension.
 
UoS wrote
at 16:24:19 on 21 September 2011
What is the point in even having a vote if the decision over whether to stand behind it ultimately lies with the executive? An absolute disgrace.
 
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