Star date: 15th March 2012


Seedley and Langworthy was to be Salford's first flagship regeneration of the 21st Century. Upside down terrace houses by Chimney Pot Park, new schools, a new `village' centre and a new "landmark church and community space called Emmanuel Church".

Now, the term `urban splash' has taken on a new meaning in the area as pigeons have moved into their own £5.5million penthouse in the `landmark' building, while other `landmark' sites remain derelict.

Full story here…

Emmanuel Church Development Langworthy Road Salford Emmanuel Church Development Langworthy Road Salford Emmanuel Church Development Langworthy Road Salford
Emmanuel Church Development Langworthy Road Salford Emmanuel Church Development Langworthy Road Salford Emmanuel Church Development Langworthy Road Salford
Emmanuel Church Development Langworthy Road Salford Emmanuel Church Development Langworthy Road Salford Urban Splash Salford
Urban Splash Salford Urban Splash Salford Seedley and Langworthy
Seedley and Langworthy Emmanuel Church Development Langworthy Road Salford John Merry Interview Salford Star issue 7
Urban Splash Chimney Pot Park Salford Urban Splash Chimney Pot Park Salford Urban Splash Chimney Pot Park Salford
Great Places Langworthy
click image to enlarge



Four years ago, for issue 7, Salford Star interviewed Salford Council Leader, John Merry (see here). We took him around Salford, and spent some time in Seedley and Langworthy criticising the state of the place, and particularly the amount of public money that had gone to things like the Urban Splash upside down houses, while knocking people's houses down that were in perfectly good condition. We asked him if Salford Council was ripping the heart out of Salford…

"I think we're renewing the heart of Salford" he said "because a lot of the properties were already abandoned and derelict and we're trying to bring them back to life and bring prosperity to the area."

Later on John Merry added… "I think that in five year's time people will come to see the wisdom of the decisions that we actually made…"

With one year to go, we're still struggling to see that wisdom…

By bringing "abandoned and derelict" properties "back to life" did he mean bulldozing the Langworthy Hotel? Bulldozing it to make a rumoured car park for Hazel Blears and co whose office is across the road?

By "abandoned and derelict" properties, did he mean the Urban Splash scheme at Chimney Pot Park which lies unfinished, despite over £20million of public money being poured into the scheme?

By "abandoned" properties did he mean Salford Council's 18 `homeswap houses', bought and done up for the regeneration, that now have gone out for rent as no-one wanted to `swap' into them, or buy them for that matter?

And by "renewing the heart of Salford" did he mean the grass crofts that have replaced houses bulldozed around Nansen Street? Or the new school that's too small to take all its pupils?

Or did John Merry mean the new `landmark' Emmanuel Church development which has been beset by problems almost since day one? The state of the art £5.5million pigeon loft is the most obvious site on Langworthy Road at the moment.

The development, designed by architects Sarah Hare Macreanor Lavington comprising 22 flats, community facilities and a new church was supposed to be complete by March 2010. But, two years later, only the flats and community spaces are occupied – while the Emmanuel Church remains occupied by penthouse living pigeons that can be seen peeping through the skylights and fluttering through gaping holes in its huge brick walls.

The Emmanuel Church has been a saga starring Tesco, Salford City Council, Chek Whyte, loads of different contractors and a church praying for some salvation…

Cut it back to early 2002 when Salford Council was in negotiations with Tesco which wanted to site its new superstore off Pendleton Way, opposite Salford Precinct. To clear the site, the Council proposed to slap a CPO (compulsory purchase order) on St James RC School but at that stage there was no mention of the Emmanuel Church that also stood on the site.

We understand that the Church was dealing direct with Tesco at this point, and the food giant had offered to build a new church in Langworthy. By 2007, however, Salford Council had compulsorily purchased the land that the Church stood on… "The sale of land and payment of monies to Salford Methodist Church will assist with the funding to construct a new ecumenical centre in Langworthy which is due on site in March 2007" stated the decision notice.

Future reports from Salford Council show that £3.25million was to be paid to the Church for its land and relocation to Langworthy Road. First, original contractors, Gleesons, walked off the new site; then Chek Whyte took the development over and went bust, owing thousands of pounds to local sub-contractors (see here)…then Salford company Wrightchoice Developments took it over but went into liquidation last March owing over £4million to creditors.

Emmanuel Developments, responsible for building the Church, is now struggling to pay for its completion having been beset by these problems along the way. Work at the Church has now stopped. And the pigeons have moved in.

Meanwhile, the community facilities - a separate entity from the Church - have opened as a base for youth clubs, elderly groups, brownies and guides, and the Seedley and Langworthy Tust has relocated from its shop across Langworthy Road. The front gardens of the building, we are told, will be completed over Easter.

The 22 flats built by Great Places with a £1.5million Homes and Communities Agency grant are also now occupied but Great Places is withholding finance that would help complete the Church. The whole project has been an embarrassment and a talking point in the community for the past few years.

"We share the concerns of the local community and far from holding up the scheme we have bent over backwards to help Emmanuel Developments finish the work" says Stephen Porter, chief executive of Great Places Housing Group "Any money withheld has been because contractual obligations have not yet been met. We are working closely with Salford Council to help find a solution to the current issues surrounding the development."

Indeed, Salford Council has been working closely with everyone trying to find solutions to the biggest mess in Salford. At Chimney Pot Park, Great Places itself is currently building and re-modelling thirty houses around Alder Street and Highfield Road, with a £1.15million Government affordable homes grant. This, after Urban Splash `swapped' it back to the Council in the midst of what seemed like a huge row about `overage payments' due from the developer.

In the meantime, Urban Splash appears to have abandoned the site of Field Street, facing Langworthy Road, where tattered and torn flowered wallpaper is covering boarded up windows and doors, while the skeletal backs of the houses are totally exposed. Around the upside down `flagship' terraces For Sale signs can be seen dotted about the privatised streets.

And the main sight out of the windows of those upside down terraced houses nearest Langworthy Road is the derelict Emmanuel Church, with its penthouse pigeons flying overhead, as the term `urban splash' takes on a whole new meaning…

* The Salford Star asked Salford Council, Seedley and Langworthy Trust, Emmanuel Church and its architects for a comment on the church development. None responded.

See PART ONE: Langworthy Hotel Demolished As Pigeons Prey in New £5.5million Church – click here






Anonymous wrote
at 10:08:15 on 18 September 2012
Back to Emmanuel Church Apartments.I moved in there 2yrs 3months ago.I had workmen drilling under my bed @ 7.30-8.30am every morning.Once they woke me up,they stopped work,never herd a thing all day,until the next morning.That is probably why this build is still not finished.The isolation is inadequate at winter time they are freezing cold.there are about 5 2000 watt lights, which shine through my windows, from the street which they will not change until the apartments are finished. WHICH YEAR THAT MAY BE. I have had one of the ladies who work at great places walk in my house while I was in the shower.They have accused me of smoking pot in here.one third have already moved out and I will be next.
john wrote
at 20:41:34 on 21 March 2012
salfords labour council as got to be one of if not the worst council in the country by a country mile . yet every local election the good people of salford vote them in . am i missing something here they are clearly not upto the job. as anyone been to visit langworthy lately it is 15 years since the first compulsory purchase it is nowhere near finished and all the money as gone . it as to be one of the of the biggest failures in the history of the single regeneration budget an absolute farce since day one
at 22:31:54 on 20 March 2012
Me again. To wrote, I loved my little house also, what i did'nt like was the damp that seeped through from the derelict houses on either side or the row of 6 properties opposite that were burnt out and tinned up. i would have loved you to be my neighbour then but no way would you consider living in my street. i will reiterate we do welcome outsiders but we do not welcome segregation. this was slum clearence of us riff raff before you would move in and thats what gets people mad. i appreciate you worked hard to save a deposit, but this is not pertinant to you, i worked damned hard also and you can bet i had to do more hours than you at my hourly rate in order to get my deposit. i invite you to get in touch with the star and meet me, get firsthand knowledge of why i feel so bitter years after the event.
Emrys wrote
at 22:31:49 on 20 March 2012
SURELY THE METHODS USED TO CHEAT PEOPLE OF THE FULL VALUE OF THEIR HOMES AMOUNTS TO CORRUPTION . No decent and civilized society would allow this .Everyone cheated in this way MUST find a sympathetic legal representative and FIGHT BACK . This country is a F@@@ING DISGRACE .
at 22:13:12 on 20 March 2012
WROTE; are'nt you lucky you can see ACTUAL REAL LIFE WORKMEN-WORKING. you can bet your bottom giro that one of these WORKMEN will not be my husband, son, brother,sister-in-law or brother-in-law. My fella is a highly skilled construction worker currently unemployed after 30 years. he has asked of every buildin site in Salford and there are loads but his accent is local. i am investing our next giro in elocution lessons so he can imitate a scouser and increase employability.salfordians always welcome outsiders, the city has a rich history of integration, think of Salford docks, Broughton, Ancoats etc, in fact my family came to Salford in this way many generations ago. now we have workers who travel in work then leave at night. Apart from a few bacon barms their wages do not benefit the local community. I was preparing for a quiet nite in with the telly but now have to defend against ignorant people. going back to chimney pot and its new residents who whine do,nt blame us for living here if you had any sense of social or moral justice you would not have touched this development with a barge pole or should i say punt. our homes were robbed and then sold for fortunes, just like the poor who sell their goods to cash converters. wrote whoever you are i would love to meet you maybe if you had the perpective of the impact it had on me and mine you would not be so gung ho with your opinions
at 18:59:28 on 20 March 2012
My house was CPOed for 3.5k leaving me homeless and with a debt of 15k. it was supposed to be demolished instead the council gave sir tom bloxham millions to do houses up to then be sold to the marthas anabels and sebastiens of the bbc. Imagine still paying the mortgage on a house that you have legally been evicted from. yes the area was bad and crime ridden and that is because the council, police, landlords and housing associations were guilty of gross dereliction of duty. why couldnt the council have done the area up for us, not the dickheads who bought the houses at vast prices and are now suffering negative equity. Welcome to my world. It has took me years to quell the anger i felt and comments from the ignorant who know fuck all about what actually happened to us bring it all back. as regards selling up after a few years and going on to a bigger house, yes this is a natural progression of being on the property ladder but this was denied to me and countless others.
caroline wrote
at 18:58:20 on 20 March 2012
wrote,,why are you saying this..Salford star is supportive and have not abandoned nor alienate any one.my family part asian.We never could say what you say.Salford council destroyed our home..Bindloss...I no the devoploers cannot wait to get there teeth in..to hell with them..you need to wake up..Salford star is a star for all......
at 14:01:55 on 20 March 2012
As someone who bought a house to let out in Chimney Pot Park I find some of the comments people are making about the residents rather unfair. When buying the house part of the reason that I did so was because the locals I spoke to around the area were really nice and friendly. I know that the Council have not looked after some of the folk that they moved from Chimney Pot Park but how is that the new homeowners fault?
mary ferrer wrote
at 06:50:51 on 17 March 2012
It would be very interesting to see how much public money has gone into Langworty over the last 10 years and where it has been spent and on what. The Langworthy hotel alone has cost a arm and a leg. I remember when the Council bought that, the snooker hall and a scout hut for god knows how much. How much was spent on chimney pot park, first they have it open plan, then when they find out its not working, up the fencing goes. The Church has been an nightmare from the start. I remember when the upside down houses were being built and we were told they would be affordable housing that was a laugh.But I must say they are very nice. We have knee rails all over the place. For god sake can't they get anything right. They pay for planners, consultants and they still make a bloody balls of it. But its only money and for some reason they are allowed to get away with it.
at 16:40:01 on 16 March 2012
I feel that some of the adverse comments are unfair against the Salford Star. Bearing in mind that the editor (who works long hours every day) and his staff are all volunteers, without the Salford Star lots of injustices would never be reported. The editor who is a nice good man is unlike some editors not afraid to speek out on things that are not right He could at this time well do without this, and be given some support in his difficult job taking on councils and big business that hide behind closed doors hoping the public will not see or hear.Because of him and staff they do have to see.
Ian OBrien wrote
at 15:28:56 on 16 March 2012
@ John. These people do not want to be accepted or a part of the local community John. They didn't move here because they thought there was a wonderful and vibrant community. They moved here because they knew they were displacing the community and so wouldn't have to deal with them. To these people, these online shoppers, too afraid to even walk across to the precinct for fear of being mugged, the local community is nothing more than Jeremey Kyle live. They see the young mums pushing buggies, and the young lads in hoodies, hanging out with nothing to do, bored and a little scary and all they think is - scumbags!! The reason the person has not been back to argue his/her case is because the person had no idea what buying a home here did to the local community and so has no real answer. They saw a glossy brochure with upside down houses (Jesus H Christ, that anybody even fell for that idea is hard to believe!!) and thought they would make a killing. The brochure would have said things like 'city centre living' and been accompanied by pictures of Manchester Town Hall Deansgate lit up a night. They saw this and thought it would be like living in Manchester. They thought they would be real yuppies at last and they would make a financial killing. Now, the crash has come and they are struggling to pay the mortgage on houses that they find are nowhere near Beethan Tower; houses which are, in fact, near towers alright, but not Beethan. I have no time for these moaners. To the commentor I have one thing to say - Love it or leave it mate. Love it or leave it.
caroline wrote
at 15:28:03 on 16 March 2012
I am shocked by such comments..How dare you say such against Salford Star who has and is always supportive of all people of salford.Who have tried to stop you all from rotting in hell... by giveing you all a voice...
caroline wrote
at 15:27:51 on 16 March 2012
I remenber seeing a T.V. program a year or two ago were a little known goverment grant was given for every house that councils demolished way above that given to the house owners eg site value. So councils had a vested interest in demolishing and selling on at a proffit to developers etc instead of offering a small amount to bring them up to standard and saving huge amounts on new builds and destroying long standing communities. Once again like most things it seems at the end of the day it is the money god that rules.
john wrote
at 07:09:55 on 16 March 2012
as regards the first comment . if you realy wish to be seen as part of the local community then please please please start using the local shops and amenities .all i see day in and day out is fleets of delivery vans from tesco iceland sainsburys etc delivering good you have bought online these are not the actions of people who wish to be part of the local community the local shops and businesses are crying out for your support so if you realy want to be accepted then prove it by supporting local shops and businesses within YOUR community
Ruth Mcauley wrote
at 07:09:27 on 16 March 2012
I was at a Community Committee meeting recently where we were reassured by the owner of Palmers demolition that they would put bricks in the Emmmanual church to prevent the pigeons nesting. That was months ago now....someone needs to take overall responsibility for it and appoint a project lead...
Ian OBrien wrote
at 17:16:31 on 15 March 2012
@ 'Wrote' - whose first comment is one bleating about how gunfair the nasty Salford Star is being to poor widdle Salford Council and that poor, misunderstood multi millionaire Tom Bloxham over at Splash. Well, mate, take a look at the comment above yours. You and the other outsiders, for that is what you actually are isn't it? You are responsible for Debbie's crisis. If we were talking about heroin dealers you would, quite rightly, say that without a market for the product, there would be no dealers. Am I right? Well, you are the market which put Debbie and many like her in the position and debt she is in. Do you expect to come here and have us feel sorry for you? Do you expect that Debbie will feel better about losing her hard worked for shot at home ownership - never, ever to get another shot at it because of the debt she was left in - because you could be bothered to write in, pissing and moaning? The reason Bloxham get his hands on those houses is because Salford council was criminally negligent in allowing an entire neighborhood to become so run down that houses were CP'd for peanuts,leaving hard working SALFORDIANS like Debbie in massive debt so that people like you could make a killing. Not to mention the council. I am sure the council did quite well out of selling our heritage and homes to the highest bidder. How dare you, from your upside down ivory tower, bleat and whine and wring your hands because you feel like an outsider, when your being there has forced people like Debbie into a life of debt and crisis. I can honestly say that I wish you misery in your home. You will never sell the place at a profit, you do know that don't you? You fell for a con trick mate. You bought a house with a lick of new paint in the ghetto, and all the regeneration and gentrification in the world will never make it safe enough for you to go to the shop for a pint of milk at night, for you to drink in the local pubs or be a part of a community which does not want you. You are like those suckers who bought homes in Hulme for the same reason, only to find that armed gangs don't disappear when the Evening News gets bored of reporting them and they dare not leave the house after dark. I hope you languish in your negative equity trap. You deserve it. But, remember while you do, at least you still have your home. Debbie doesn't. Please go and bleat to the Salford Advertiser in future. Trinity Mirror group love a good story like yours.
wrote shut it no one making u out siders wrote
at 14:34:22 on 15 March 2012
no one is making any 1 out siders but when first wrote and started it was ment local land mark whats now been pulled dwn 2be apart of the village. every where is getting pulled down an nothing built people moved on for nothing but empty places , not just langworthy all over pendalton across the park there is rows and rows of old streets empty nothing planed. people are happy with where u live and no one thinks any 1 is out siders at all. dont single your self out
Debbie wrote
at 12:54:12 on 15 March 2012
And the same land which remains unbuilt on Langworthy Road / Hodge Lane, I was one of the last to move from my property which the council purchased for a measley £8,000 leaving me with £19,500.00 negative equity and this lands still remains unbuilt on. A lot of familys were tore apart by this regeneration and Hazel Blears & co have a lot to answer for. They knew what they were doing letting rouge landlords move into the area rent to anybody run the place down to disrepair and then offer the tenants peanuts... one word for Salford City Council...'vile'
at 12:54:04 on 15 March 2012
I would have thought with the Salford Star being a local publication, it would be a little more supportive of the efforts being made to improve the area. Indeed, there have been many obstacles met by the developers of both the Emmanuel Church and the private residential developers which has resulted in less than ideal delays, but did anyone notice that there has been a recession going on recently? If the money isn't there, the money isn't there. Got a magic wand Salford Star? I live at Chimney Pot Park and I see something happening about the area every single day. No more so than on the 'abandoned' site at the end of Field Street. Abandoned to the extent its full of site containers, diggers, and ACTUAL REAL LIFE WORKMEN - WORKING. The once-pretty floral boards are difficult to maintain in this kind of environment I should imagine. And, really, a minor detail inthe big scheme of things. I'd rather see the money put towards finishing the build of the scheme rather than make a building site look pretty. Oh, and I'm one of those yuppies who was fortunate to buy a house from Urban Splash. You know, the kind of yuppie who had to scrimp, save and borrow to find the deposit to buy my first home (like millions of other before me). A home, I should add, which I absolutely love, and have done for for the - almost - 5 years I've lived there. Yet from day one, the Salford Star has made residents out to be outsiders. Surely it would be far more productive for such a local publication to make efforts to make residents feel like part of the community, rather than alienate them. Oh and as for the houses up for sale, after 5 years a lot of the first time buyers are getting married and starting families and so are looking for something bigger, possibly with a private garden. Isn't that what people usually do?!
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