PICNIC IN THE INDUSTRIAL UNITS…
Check out the Ordsall Riverside Masterplan and there's at least half a dozen images in there showing a great big wide open space at the front of Ordsall Hall, labelled `Ordsall Green'... "a large central open part that allows for unobstructed views from the riverside to Ordsall Hall and its grounds. This may comprise grassed areas, pathways or zones with low planting that allow for occasional games and play activities and picnicking…"
Then check out Salford Council's own website to see `what's happening' in Ordsall and read how "the long-term vision for this space is the creation of a green boulevard, framing the newly-reopened and renovated Grade I listed Ordsall Hall and providing a direct walking route between Ordsall Lane and the waterside pathway…"
Now see the planning application for this site - that Salford Council's planners are recommending for approval this Thursday - and see how there's going to be twelve industrial units plonked on the site, divided by a nasty concrete path with 42 spaces for car parking. There won't be many picnics going on here…
Salford Council purchased the former Vanguard Textiles site in 2008, with a £4.5million grant, we understand, from the now defunct North West Development Agency (NWDA), in order to turn the space into a green `boulevard' or park, to open up the view of Ordsall Hall after its £6.5million makeover.
It was to be "a new quality neighbourhood green space in front of Ordsall Hall that enhances the setting of this Grade 1 listed building and opens up views
onto the Hall and its environs from the riverside and Pomona…"
Incredibly, the planners at Salford Council have decided that it's now okay for the site to become the home for the `erection of 12 industrial units' by a company called Digital Village Salford Quays LLP, an offshoot of Capital and Centric plc, builders of Speke Industrial Park in Liverpool, amongst other developments. The company is expecting a grant of £1.1million from the European Regional Development Fund towards the project, so Salford Council is also letting it off with paying its planning contributions of £23.50 per square meter, or a total of £95,316.
The Council planners justify the plonking of the industrial units on what should have been a public green space, contrary to its own policy, primarily because "Whilst the proposed scheme conflicts with UDP policy MX1 and certain policies within the associated Ordsall Riverside Planning Guidance, changes in the market have cast considerable doubt of the achievability of the detailed vision for this part of the Ordsall Riverside Corridor" and that "Market conditions have changed substantially since the Guidance was adopted in 2008"…
Ordsall residents may well be wondering how this affects plans for a green space…some grass seeds and a couple of trees?
Meanwhile, the planners go into double-speak in order to justify the development on the Tudor doorstep of Salford's number one listed building...
• The concrete path that divides the units and allows a slight view of Ordsall Hall – if you dodge between the 42 cars that are coming and going into the parking lots? "It is considered that its main objective in enhancing the setting of Ordsall Hall and opening up views towards the Hall from the riverside is achieved… It is acknowledged though that the space could be greener, that it could align symmetrically with the façade of Ordsall Hall…"
• The stultifyingly boring twelve industrial units? "One of the merits of a relatively simple design is that it does not compete for attention with Ordsall Hall; rather, it allows the merit of the Hall to stand out."
The planners conclude that "It is considered that the proposed development has a considerable beneficial effect on the setting of Ordsall Hall…that re-establishes the historic connection between Ordsall Hall and the waterfront, increasing its visibility and increasing the potential number of visitors."
Incredibly, the only person in Salford who put in a letter supporting the industrial units proposal was the City Council's museums manager… "He states that Ordsall Hall is pleased to see this positive development."
* The planners also conclude that "it is considered that the Council's
ambitions for the area as set out in the Ordsall Riverside Planning Guidance are realistically not going to be met…"
You can say that again!
The industrial units applications goes to Salford Council Planning Panel this Thursday - see here for full proposal (in amongst a million other nasty schemes)
See also previous Salford Star article Ordsall Waterfront Wall Eyesore - click here and follow links and click here for £1.2million funding for MediaCityUK schemes