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SALFORD COUNCIL OFFICIALLY CHICKENS OUT OF PEEL HOLDINGS FIGHT
 

Star date: 29th September 2011

BURGESS FARM CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST

"They seem to forget that they were democratically elected by the residents to represent the residents but unfortunately they are not very democratic, they are a disgrace!" Burgess Farm Residents Group

Salford Council has officially informed the Planning Inspectorate that it won't defend Peel Holdings' appeal against the refusal of planning permission to build 350 houses on the greenfield site of Burgess Farm in Walkden.

The strange Salford Council position will be looked into at a Planning Inspectorate Appeal Pre-inquiry Meeting on October 11th…

Full details here…


As predicted in the last Salford Star feature on Burgess Farm, Salford Council is to roll over and chicken out of a fight with Peel Holdings over its plan to build 350 houses on the Walkden greenfield site.

At a planning meeting in July, councillors voted against the Peel Holdings housing application, despite Councillor Derek Antrobus, the Council's Lead Member for Planning, supporting Peel and trying to get the decision nulled.

Peel immediately put in an appeal against the democratic decision, which is due to go through an appeal process with the Planning Inspectorate. First the Council said it would contest the appeal, then, last week, a letter to local residents stated that, following legal advice, it wouldn't contest the appeal. The reasons were everything from `we got our facts wrong' to future Government policy on greenfield planning regulations (see here).

What is more (and again, as predicted by the previous Salford Star feature), the Council is now stating that if Peel re-submits its application for planning permission for Burgess Farm it won't oppose that either. It's all very strange.

Firstly, the Government's new planning proposals (the National Planning Policy Framework, or NPPF) are just that at the moment – proposals. The NPPF aims to restrict local councils' power over residential planning, making it easier for developers to build on greenfield sites.

The Government argues that the planning relaxation is to do with easing the housing supply but the last issue of Private Eye proved that it is nothing of the sort – it's to do with bigger profits…

"Planning rules introduced under the Major government have pushed the proportion of homes built on `brownfield' sites up from 55% to around 80%. The new proposals will reverse this environmentally friendly trend" the magazine states "Developers will switch from brownfield to greenfield sites – without necessarily building more houses – because it's much cheaper, and so more profitable to build on virgin land."

Thus, we can assume, land values on greenfield land will rise accordingly. Funnily enough, next door to the Burgess Farm land that Peel wants to build on is another greenfield site owned by Salford Council. This was the infamous area that was the playing field of St George's RC school, given over by the Council to a sheep farmer (see here). And in the Council's Core Strategy document this very land has been identified for future housing (site 852 if anyone wants to look it up). It could be argued that this is about Salford Council cashing in too on greenfield sites.

Secondly, campaigners are questioning Salford Council's neutrality on the issue when the Council is in bed with Peel Holdings on so many ventures… MediaCityUK, Salford City Stadium and Port Salford to name a few. Salford City Stadium, for instance, is a formal joint venture company between Peel and Salford Council.

These are all things that the Planning Inspectorate might like to consider at its Appeal Pre-Inquiry Meeting on 11th October at Salford Civic Centre.

Given that Salford Council is busy doing its chicken (or is it a fox?) impersonation on the Burgess Farm planning application, it's now left to the residents themselves to fight Peel Holdings on their own.

"There has been a huge amount of opposition from residents to the development of Burgess Farm - the relentless amount of public consultations sent out by Salford Council in relation to the Core Strategy and, at the same time, Peel's Planning Application would have knocked the stuffing out of most individual residents but as a group we have stood strong" says the Burgess Farm Residents Group

"Certain Lead Members of the Council have wanted this development for a long time and even at the Panel Meeting they still tried to 'bulldoze' it through" adds the Group  "Thankfully the Panel were able to see and hear first hand from the residents what affect this development would have on both the local and wider community. Now the Council have cited the content of draft Government documents, which are still out for public consultation, as the reasons why they will not defend the Panel's decision.

"They seem to forget that they were democratically elected by the residents to represent the residents" the Group concludes "but unfortunately they are not very democratic, they are a disgrace!"

The Group is holding a Residents Meeting on 5th October at Harrop Fold School, Hilton Lane. Walkden at 7:30pm to discuss future actions. Everyone is welcome to attend.

And the official Appeal Pre-Inquiry Meeting will be held at 10am on 11th October in the Council Chamber at Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Road, Swinton. Everyone is being urged to attend to support the residents.

There's also an online petition to sign - click here

See previous Salford Star feature on Burgess Farm - click here
 

Jim Devine wrote
at 13:59:16 on 18 July 2012
Tell Councillor Collinson that sometimes when you lie with dogs you come up with fleas !!!!
 
mum wrote
at 04:15:10 on 18 July 2012
Well Jonjosalford, If you read the first post you will see that it was also opposed by Conservative Councillors. Seems like youve finally found your niche- shadowing the Labour Cllrs?? How on earth do you fit it all in with your day job!!!! Well I suppose its doing some good-after all its only taken you 10 MONTHS to comment on the matter
 
jonjosalford wrote
at 14:02:41 on 17 July 2012
Salford council could not legally appeal the decision. It was REJECTED by Labour Councillors. Nigel is correct when he says that these developers have HUGE resources, much bigger than the council, appeal after appeal can cost fortunes. If a council cannot appeal a decision for LEGAL reasons that does not mean they SUPPORT it. Please get your facts right. If it goes ahead, it will be because a CONSERVATIVE government minister approves it. LABOUR COUNCILLORS VOTED AGAINST IT.
 
Mike Masters wrote
at 06:49:42 on 03 October 2011
Why am I not suprised. Its well known in the council offices that the councillors and senior offciers are in the pocket of peel. Even the famous over paid consultant Chris marsh is working for them as well as salford council now. Salford is finished as a city its been consumed by Peel and Manchester!
 
Fred Green wrote
at 21:21:25 on 01 October 2011
Doubtless the council chickens were well fed and watered by farmer peel ..
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 05:13:34 on 30 September 2011
Over the last few years I have sat back and watched what is happening to this city. I have lived here all my life, worked in the community and been a councillor for Claremont,but things have gone from bad too worse. Not so long ago planning permission was given to Tesco to build at Salford shopping city. Then we find out that Tesco had given the council 4 million pounds well before the application had gone to planning, in fact a school had been built with the money. Now is it me or is that a wee bit ODD. Now this. Its up to the people of this city to do something before its too late. This council have full run of this city with little or no challange and it will only get worse.
 
george ogden wrote
at 05:13:02 on 30 September 2011
why not try and use the 1 million unoccupied properties to house homeless / 1st time buyers etc that are vacant in england before DESTROYING green field sites. Would the reason for not using these properties have anything to do with the DULY ELECTED ( not representative) councillors having to get out of their air conditioned offices and actually do some spade work. If these properties were used the need to DESTTROY greenfield sites would be in only the very severest of cases and surely would be the last place to chose to put concrete on
 
Reg Howard wrote
at 17:30:29 on 29 September 2011
I wonder if thiswas decided before or bafter the council leadres met with Peel at the civic centre on Tuesday 27th SEP
 
caroline wrote
at 17:30:15 on 29 September 2011
Thank you Nigel and Jillian...100% truth..We need people like you both......
 
caroline wrote
at 17:29:49 on 29 September 2011
Thank you Jillian...100% truth..May be you can help us over Bindloss,,It hurts bad when you try to help and incorrect messages are sent to the public..An the think you are not to nice..When is not correct...Salford Star a voice for all...Surport this paper....All are welcome as long as you do not lie...misunder standings are understood..Today my son is going to the funeual of one of his best mates...They robbed his mobile ,,he ran after and was killed by a bus...Life is not to good at times we all have to help each other,,This lady sounds a sweetheart,,surpport her....
 
Nigel wrote
at 13:42:27 on 29 September 2011
This is how the planning system works in the UK. If you're a large enough company, like Peel Holdings or Tesco's for instance, you can afford to keep putting in appeals. Meanwhile cash-strapped councils struggle to afford the legal fees fighting it entails, effectively allowing these big companies to ride roughshod over local democracy
 
Councillor Jillian Collinson wrote
at 12:46:03 on 29 September 2011
I hope you are aware that all three CONSERVATIVE councillors for the Walkden South Ward have been fighting this battle vigorously on behalf of the residents since the issue first arose and they are furious that the Council does not see fit to support the residents in a similar fashion. As you rightly state councillors are elected by the people to represent the people but not all councillors take that aspect of their role seriously enough.
 
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