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SALFORD RIVERSIDE MESS AS MILLER HOMES BOOTED OUT
 

Star date: 7th August 2013

WILD FLOWERS TURN TO WEEDS IN EIGHT YEAR REGENERATION LIMBO ON LITTLETON ROAD

Miller Homes and ID4Living have had their contract terminated to develop the site where 184 affordable houses once stood near the Littleton Road riverside site in Charlestown. Miller will get a pay-off `in excess of £100,000' for its troubles.

Following the £350,000 demolition of the seven streets, between Levens Street and the River Irwell, residents were promised "the sowing of wildflowers" on the site – but all that is evident on the overgrown site is weeds, cans, bottles…and homes for foxes.

Full details here…


Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess
Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess
Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess
Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess
Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess
Salford Littleton Road Riverside Mess
click image to enlarge

Picnic by the Irwell Riverside anyone? This time last year, Salford Council promised that the former demolition site between Levens Street and the River would be enhanced by a big clean up and the "sowing of wild flowers" as "part of the Council's commitment to redevelop the Charlestown Riverside area."

This week there was no evidence of any wild flowers on the site, just massively overgrown weeds, cans, bottles and a couple of wild poppies desperately trying to bloom through the broken bricks.

Meanwhile, Miller Homes and ID4Living, first chosen back in 2005 to develop, what the Star called `yuppie riverside apartments', have officially been given the boot by Salford Council – with a pay-off "in excess of £100,000".

Residents the Salford Star spoke to weren't impressed…

"There's no wild flowers on there, only cans, bottles, rubbish, rocks and prickles, it's a mess" said one lady "It's all overgrown and we'd just like it cut, never mind wild flowers."

Another told us… "We can't keep our doors open because there's loads of foxes on there and we're worried about them getting into our houses."

Miller Homes and ID4Living appeared on the regeneration scene in 2005, at the height of the horrendously failed £53million Charlestown and Lower Kersal NDC (New Deal For Communities/Now Demolishing A City/Now Definitely Clueless) project.

184 affordable terraced houses in Thursfield Street, Reading Street, Chinley Street, Wainman Street, Suffolk Street, Levens Street and part of Littleton Road were chosen for demolition, as the developers eyed potential profits of riverside apartments.

Indeed, the Salford Star always maintained that there was nothing wrong with the houses – that the only reason why they were bulldozed and the community displaced was due to "their sexy setting for developers...given that identical houses further up Littleton Road but set back from the River (and not sexy for developers) were done up rather than demolished" (click here for `Sold Down The River' article and also click here for `Why Are These Houses Being Demolished?')).

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money was spent clearing out the community and £350,000 was spent on the eventual demolition, with a Salford Council report in 2009 stating that the clearance of the area will "help maintain community confidence in the redevelopment process, as it is likely to serve as a powerful signal that the development process is entering a significant phase"…

Nothing happened. In 2010, Miller Homes received planning permission for `three storey waterside flats'. John Merry, the then Leader of Salford City Council and Deputy Chair of the NDC, announced that "This represents a real opportunity to open up this spectacular riverside site and to transform this part of Central Salford", while Miller Homes stated that it was "excited about, and remain fully committed to, developing out the Charlestown Riverside site in Salford..." which would commence during 2011. Nothing happened.

And then just over a year ago Salford Council put out a press release, quoting Councillor Gena Merrett, Assistant Mayor for Housing and Environment, saying that "The big cleanup of Charlestown Riverside is the first step towards total redevelopment of this area - something the local community is keen to see…We are looking forward to the future of this site and the opportunities it will bring." (see previous Salford Star `Demolition Diary' article – click here)

Twelve months later, and Salford Council has now issued a `Termination of Framework Agreement' notice, giving the developers the boot, while agreeing to "approve the payment to Miller Homes Limited and ID4Living Limited". This, the Council notes in a separate report, will be "in excess of £100,000".

Miller Homes told the Salford Star that it was "simply being reimbursed for part of the cost of the consultant's technical reports in accordance with the terms of the agreement with Salford City Council. The benefit of these reports are being transferred to Salford City Council for future development."

The company added that "The scheme is not viable without substantial public funds, which have not been available. Miller Homes was prepared to wait for the market to improve, however Salford City Council's preference was to terminate the agreement in order to explore other avenues in order to progress with development as soon as possible."

Countryside Properties was the last developer to show an interest in the area, even running an informal `visioning' exercise with the community last year – which showed no affordable housing anywhere near the river (see The Forgotten Estate article – click here).

As the eight year mess at the centre of the doomed £53million regeneration project drags on, residents who are left on Levens Street face another period looking over their shoulders for foxes, and overlooking weeds, bottles, cans and broken bricks – even the promised wild flowers didn't appear.

Howthehell wrote
at 1:23:33 PM on Monday, December 2, 2013
I drove round this area today and I was totally shocked. How the hell can you spend £53,000,000 and end up with a mess like that? It looks like it needs £53,000,000 spending on it! Surely this must be investigated? The people involved in this should be shot with a blunderbuss loaded full of their own shite and never employed in any position of responsibility again.
 
Disgusted wrote
at 11:25:46 PM on Saturday, August 10, 2013
Another scandalous and disgraceful waste of ripped-off Salford taxpayers money . The activities of the Town Hall Mafia must be independently investigated .
 
Scouser wrote
at 4:49:50 AM on Saturday, August 10, 2013
Schemes like this need someone with experience of handling large amounts of money. I know that Salford employs a lot of people from Liverpool so I would like to say I,m here if a job crops up. Yours sincerely Kerry Katona
 
audit wrote
at 7:00:56 AM on Thursday, August 8, 2013
Someone should really look into this and there should be an inquiry or an audit. How do you spend £53,000,000 and end up with that? I,d be interested to find out how much Salford council paid for the "wild flower meadow" to be sown.
 
chris fildes wrote
at 12:24:12 PM on Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Lower Kersal allotments on Littleton road would I.m sure be very interested to plant a wild meadow on this ever increasing eyesore. They have just gained national recognition for their research into the decling bee population, indeed they produce the most amazing honey from the allotment bee hives.Let the local community restore pride back into the local area.
 
Stuart Charlesworth wrote
at 12:24:09 PM on Wednesday, August 7, 2013
The council should give the land to a housing association and build houses that the people of Salford can afford. Not yuppie flats, or overpriced boxes!
 
lorna roberts wrote
at 10:30:05 AM on Wednesday, August 7, 2013
for god sake why cant Salford council leave things alone.i grew up in Salford ,on the flats and look what has happened there. there was nothing wrong with those houses,the whole area is a mess.
 
Folkysong wrote
at 10:30:01 AM on Wednesday, August 7, 2013
This made me laugh and think of the Pete Seeger song "where have all the flowers gone?" Where has the £53 million gone? To misquote Bob Dylan "Yes, how many years can some people exist Before they're allowed to be free ? Yes, how many times can a man turn his head Pretending he just doesn't see ? The answer my friend is blowin' in the weeds The answer is blowin' in the weeds."
 
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