Star date: 9th May 2016


Three developers are set to avoid almost 6million in planning fees for a total of 1,643 apartments and retail units being thrown up in multi-storey blocks up to 44 storeys high in Greengate, Chapel Street and Salford Quays.

TH Real Estate, states that its plans for between 600 and 800 flats in Waterfront Quay won't be viable but Salford City Council figures show that it won't be viable after the developer's profit of up to 24million has been taken into account. A new Salford Mayor there may be, but the planning scandal continues...

Full details here...

Exchange Court, Greengate
click image to enlarge

The planning scandal that has rocked Salford is set to continue at this week's Planning Panel meeting of councillors, where three applications from developers look set to be approved despite almost 6million in planning fees and obligations either being avoided or kicked into the long grass.

First up is TH Real Estate which is proposing to build between 600 and 800 flats, plus 900sqm of retail units and restaurants in blocks up to twenty storeys high at Waterfront Quay, next to the Holiday Inn Express.

Local residents have opposed the plans on the grounds of impact on the area, Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long Bailey has made `representation', and even Salford Council planning officers have decided that "The development is likely to result in the increased use of nearby public realm and open space".

The development falls within the `premium' value area of the Quays and, according to an official Salford Council assessment table, TH Real Estate should be paying 2,898,180 in planning fees for such things as `open space' and `public realm'.

However, as usual, the developer has submitted a `viability assessment', showing that it couldn't afford to build the blocks if it had to pay the full fees. The Salford Council assessment table shows that a developer of 600 high density flats in a `premium area' should be allowed to make 24million profit to be included in the building costs equation in viability assessments.

Once these costs have been added, Council officers agree that "the scheme cannot support the level of contribution sought". Instead TH Real Estate will cough up just 350,000 "towards the provision of improvements to the junction of Waterfront Quay and The Quays to deliver better pedestrian connectivity between the site and the local area", while a `clawback' agreement will be recommended to "secure a further contribution from the applicant should viability of the scheme increase in the future when the scheme is delivered."

In other words, over 2.5million is being kicked into the long grass if anyone can find any in the sterilised desert that the Quays has become (see here).

Meanwhile, Daren Whitaker is proposing to build Exchange Court, 349 apartments in a block 44 storeys high in Greengate. Whitaker has already avoided an estimated 5million in planning fees for three developments in central Salford; plus he's had a cheap loan of 35.1million in public money from the Homes and Communities Agency (see print issue 10 panel page 27 click here and previous Salford Star online article - click here).

This time, Whitaker should be paying 1,860,196 in planning fees and obligations but has offered a 250,000 `guaranteed contribution' towards Greengate Park, while the Council is also letting him off with a further 200,000 because he's providing a path to the riverside. The remaining 1,410,196 will be "subject to a clawback mechanism and future viability assessment" back in the long grass.

And finally, Embankment West Ltd, Ask Real Estate Ltd and Network Rail is proposing to build 694 Private Rental Sector (PRS) flats off Salford Approach and New Kings Head Yard, at the far end of Chapel Street in blocks 12, 25 and 33 storeys high.

Again, Salford Council officers state that "The construction of 694 dwellings with ancillary retail floorspace is likely to result in an increased use of the local highway network, of the public realm and of open space in the local area" and that the developers should be paying 2,938,506 to mitigate the impact.

However, because the developers are providing a "public route through the site", they are getting 225,000 knocked off the fees. They are also coughing up an `initial 750,000', leaving 1,963,506 "subject to a clawback mechanism and future viability assessment"...in other words, more `long grass' payments in some future developer profit Utopia.

Total fees subject to `Never-Never-Land' payments? An estimated 5.921million - TH Real Estate: 2.548million; Daren Whitaker: 1.410million; Embankment West Ltd, Ask Real Estate Ltd and Network Rail: 1.963million.

The Salford City Council Planning Panel meets this Thursday, 12th May, to consider the applications, after which, no doubt, the developers will be singing Peter Pan's Never-Never-Land song...

`You'll have a treasure if you stay there
 More precious far than gold....

...And that's my home where dreams are born
 And time is never planned.
 Just think of lovely things.
 And your heart will fly on wings,
 Forever in Never Never Land...'

Main image shows a graphic of the Embankment West Ltd, Ask Real Estate Ltd and Network Rail blocks of flats

Booted of Broughton wrote
at 13:54:17 on 15 May 2016
The ONLY people who really benefit are those who are wealthy - and profit from the "Buy-To-Let" businesses. They make no ,mistake about saying so on their own literature, highlighting how it's positive rents are rising in our city. This, from "Knight Knoxx"'s website: The city is already posting average yearly rents of 8,316 and with annual rental growth currently standing at 5%, these returns will only grow further. Manchester has seen price rises of 18% in Q1 2014 bypassing even London, making this the perfect time to invest in this booming city.

Booted of Broughton wrote
at 13:54:05 on 15 May 2016
It's absolutely sickening and outrageous our "Labour" council is giving the green light to SO many "luxury" investment properties when it's own loyal hard-working residents in need wait years (if not forever) to find accommodation, let alone a property to invest and make a profit out of in a far away city. Especially around Salford Quays. It's becoming like our own little exclusive Monaco. For example, Knight Knox - "international property developers" say on their website about it's Salford and Manchester portfolio: "Media City is the 16th development launched by Knight Knox International and X1 Developments and allows investors to take advantage of an investment product that will not only provide excellent yielding investments today but also is guaranteed to be an unparalleled contribution to any property portfolio." SHAMELESS PROFITEERING PARASITES!

mary Ferrer wrote
at 08:00:06 on 12 May 2016
Didn't the government give each council freedom to take money from developers .if that's the case why is Salford council allowing multi millionaires off without putting something back to the community. Big development's have a big impact on the local area,by ways of transport,schools,doctors.to name a few. I am sorry I don't for one minute think these people can't find monies to pay the planning fees/106 money. Have Salford Labour party got a pot of money we don't know about.its that or they are getting brown envelopes. And where is the affordable housing. We have lost that as well

David cameron wrote
at 15:12:54 on 11 May 2016
Alice, I object to this council using tax payers money to promote this nazi ideology. The people in Brussels are unelected bureaucrat who only have their own interests at heart. I use the word nazi because this is the best way to describe this social engendering bunch of no marks, I call them nazi because a number of years ago they made the Netherlands and Ireland vote again because they had the audacity to vote against, was it the Lisbon treaty, this is not the way of democracy, this is the way of dictatorship. Do you know of the plans of Angela merkle wanting to creat a European army, an army were British soldiers will take orders from unelected bureaucrat in Brussels. Brave men and women didn't die in two world wars for idiots in the British parliament to surrender our freedoms our culture and way of life. I'm sorry, anyone who votes to stay in this undemocratic union, spits on the grave of all those who gave their live for our freedoms, as for the European flag, it's not my flag, it's not the flag of this country and I will never except it as my flag. It's a shit flag and it's a flag of dictatorship. The EU is doing what the nazi couldn't do, to enslave the people of Europe. Ps look at turkey, merkel and cameron wants this country to join the euro zone, this is the country who's president as been ordering the arrest of journalists for criticising him, a German comedian has been arrested under the direct orders of Angela merkel and faces a court trial for telling a joke about the Turkish president, the Turkish president complained to merkel and merkel had the comedian arrested. This isn't the type of Europe I want to live in, a Europe that censors it's people, as you would like to do Alice, I want a Europe that has freedom of speech and freedom of thought, the freedoms brave men and women died for.

Alice wrote
at 10:28:15 on 11 May 2016
Reluctant as I am to start an arguement on these pages I must clarify what I said to you DC. I objected to your language which I thought was crude and also to the fact that you imposed your objection to the EU into the Star report on the excessive creed of Developers in Salford. I am happy to have a sensible, controlled discussion on the benefits or otherwise of belonging in the EU. In fact, I did a piece on this in the Print Copy of the Salford Star. Please take a look at this as a starter. Let's be civil to each other even if we have different points of view.

David cameron wrote
at 20:33:06 on 10 May 2016
To Alice, the nazi's used censorship, Angela merkel is using censorship today in Germany, Turkey today is using it. Censorship equals the death of freedom and freedom of speech. Who are you to dictate what is said and on what subject, how do you know that what is being discussed on this page dos't have relevance on the vote on Europe, just think Alice if this country votes to stay in Europe that planning laws will be made in Europe, so if you think you have no say in planning laws at the moment, under EU rule you'll have no say. Imagine in years to come Alice the eu says we have to take in Half a million refugees and then says we have to concrete over our countryside to house them, what if Alice, if that nice little bit of wild life area just down the road from you has been earmarked for development by creed of the unelected EU, what would you say then. Sorry Alice the EU vote is the most important vote since the Second World War, a vote that says who governs this country, we the people of this country or the EU in Brussels. If this country losses this battle and we stay in, then forget about this local or national government making decisions that are in the best interests of this country, the'll be made in the best interests of the EU. By by democracy, hello dictatorship and censorship. Ps look up TTIP and look at what is in store for Britain and Europe. A vote for Europe is a vote for TTIP. When you ask for someone to be censored Alice, think what your asking, today it's me, tomorrow it could be you, remember Alice this happened in the thirties under the nazi's, want to go back to it.

Michael James Felse wrote
at 11:25:52 on 10 May 2016
I am sure our great new Mayor Paul Dennett will call in the developers money. Having to find 50million under chancellor Osborne demands for next 3 years means every penny counts. We all need to step up and save Salford from Tory disaster. I would start by not allowing any Tory to be Ceremonial Mayor.

Salford Star wrote
at 07:57:44 on 10 May 2016
See Do Your Research comment below...Oh we have done our research, too much to be honest. If you do your research and read the Planning Scandal article that was in print issue 10 (link on this article), based on all the other articles that have been published here online, you will see that, yes, it is the Government's National Planning Policy Framework but also that Salford Council has changed its planning contribution assessments and, finally, that the same developer rip offs were going on in Salford before this was introduced, even under the last Labour Government.

Alice wrote
at 07:48:19 on 10 May 2016
I would like to make a request of the Editor. I find it really difficult to read the language of the contributor who calls himself David Cameron. He may have strong feelings about the EU flag but such offensive language does not help whatever case he is trying to make. Can such contributions be sensored in future. Also the report is about Developers not paying 106 contributions and full planning fees. This is a serious matter for Salford residents and we do not need irrelevant and bigoted comments distracting readers from this debate.

Do your research wrote
at 07:48:16 on 10 May 2016
How is this the councils fault? They cannot just change planning laws which were made by the Tory Government! Yes we ARE being ripped off by these developers however the nation voted the Tories in so we have to live with their corrupt laws!! The mayor or council cannot just change the conditions!! If you do not like it please start a petition to hand to the government!! Good luck with that!

at 18:26:55 on 09 May 2016
If planning policy did not change at least salford became more equality minded. National LGBT stats say 6% are gay or LBT. Salford shows it to be best City on this with 94% none LGBTs going out to vote in a new Mayor. These new flats will be for single people cos they are most able to afford them.

G.Brough wrote
at 18:26:52 on 09 May 2016
Someone somewhere in salfords planning department has just had a lottery win. What is the name of that private company that run Salford council??? Salford council just rubber stamp, no democracy no accountability. gift aid to Salford councillers? or gold plated pensions for contribution to "the commumity"

at 18:26:48 on 09 May 2016
Perhaps our new mayor can step in and change the conditions.

David cameron wrote
at 18:26:10 on 09 May 2016
I notice that some leftwing numpty has put up the European flag outside the town hall in Swinton, I don't pay council tax for this foreign peace of shit to be forced on to the people of this city or country especially running up to the euro election, not everyone is pro Europe, I see this flag on a pare with the nazi flag, both have the same ideology and the same goal, to enslave Europe and Britain under a unelected bunch of self serving parisites. To the people at the town hall, take that piece of shit down.

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