Salford City Council is shortly to begin consulting the community on its draft Local Plan which sets out how the city should be developed over the next twenty years. The 250 page document covers everything from where new housing developments, industrial and office space should be sited, to energy supply, flood risk strategies and loads more.
The big shocks of the Plan have already been outed in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, which also goes out to consultation next week; the main controversy being the loss of huge swathes of Salford's green belt (see previous Salford Star article – click here).
Areas being taken out of the green belt total over 500 hectares, with the biggest at Irlam and Cadishead which will see the loss of almost 300 hectares in order to build 2,250 houses. Green belt loss around Boothstown and Ellenbrook accounts for almost 50 hectares, Hazelhurst Farm in Worsley will lop a further 31.2 hectares, and the Port Salford expansion in Irlam another 122.2 hectares.
Against this, 184.5 hectares of green space at the newly named West Salford Greenway in Worsley will be converted to green belt, as will 15.3 hectares which are part of the Logistics North Country Park in Little Hulton and 7.9 hectares of Wharton Playing Fields.
10% of all 34,900 units of new homes will be built on green belt land over the next twenty years. Meanwhile, over half of all new properties, or 18,700 apartments and houses, will be situated in Salford Quays, what's now called Ordsall Waterfront and the `City Centre', which stretches from Salford University, down the Crescent and Chapel Street to Greengate and New Bailey*
The Council estimates that the city's population will grow by 20% to around 290,000 by 2035, and argues in the Plan that it needs to accommodate this growth via "housing that meets the full range of needs" and the development of "a strong, diverse economy that can withstand economic shocks and provide a range of accessible employment opportunities".
The Council adds that it needs to "Facilitate the continued growth of those locations that are essential to Greater Manchester's future prospects, such as the City Centre* and Salford Quays" and "Ensure that all residents share in the benefits of growth"...
One particularly cryptic section of the Plan is related to what it calls the `Cambridge' area of Lower Broughton. This is the area near the Grade II listed Victoria Theatre, the Cambridge Industrial Estate and around Lower Broughton Health Centre.
Houses here were hard hit by the Boxing Day Flood and will be subject to a `masterplan'..."to develop a comprehensive approach to addressing the high level of flood risk in the area".
Masterplans in Salford usually involve demolishing houses – ask anyone in Lower or Higher Broughton – but the Council is being very coy about details. The Plan merely states that the priority will include "Enabling existing residents to remain in the area, in a home with a significantly lower risk of flooding".
Elsewhere in the Plan it states that the Council will be "Supporting the replacement of existing buildings at risk of flooding, particularly housing, with new/alternative accommodation that has a significantly lower risk of being badly affected by a flood event due to careful location, design and 'flood proofing'".
If it looks and quacks like a duck it usually is a duck, so the Star spoke to local councillor John Merry and asked whether the houses will be bulldozed. Councillor Merry responded: "There are no proposals at this stage to knock people's houses down...there is absolutely no plan to move them out of the area", before adding that "It might be that in some cases we can provide them with a better house than they have at the moment. Our intentions are to protect people and make the area safer."
Further up the road, the 'Fairways' site for travelling showpeople at Clarence Street
is definitely being bulldozed due to its `greater than 1 in 100 year risk of flooding', with residents being `relocated' to an unspecified area.
"Cambridge has the most severe flood risk in Salford, with most of it lying within flood zone 3 and liable to significant water depths in the most severe flood events" the Plan states "However, it also benefits from an excellent location in the Irwell valley close to the City Centre..."
The Plan adds that there will be new areas for water storage in the event of a flood, that the grade II listed Victoria Theatre will be protected, "securing its positive reuse, preferably for a community use in keeping with its original function and design", and that it will seek to be "improving connections through Cambridge and into surrounding areas, including across the River Irwell and to neighbouring parts of Manchester."
In a sense, residents will be able to guess what the masterplan might entail – Alexander Gardens is being `redeveloped', there are tentative plans for the health centre to re-locate to Mocha Parade, and, years before the flood, Countryside Properties had the whole `Cambridge' area down for proposed `redevelopment'.
In relation to future plans for Cambridge, Councillor Merry added: "All three councillors were involved in discussions over this with a view to guaranteeing the right of all residents to stay in the area, but also as the residents wanted strengthening the flood protection especially in the Cambridge area. To that end we want to work with the residents to come up with the right plans."
Elsewhere, as well as the green belt and green space sites around Boothstown, Irlam and Cadishead being earmarked for housing (see previous Salford Star articles – click here and click here), Little Hulton is down as a site for 885 houses – at Brackley Golf Course (500), Ladywell Avenue (35), the former playing field of St George's School near Burgess Farm (200) and land near Kenyon Way (150).
The Plan also includes proposals for 100 houses at Clifton Business Park, sixty `highest quality' houses on land near St. Augustine's Church, Pendlebury, 550 houses on employment land at Swinton Hall Road, while the former Swinton Sewage Works is down for around 250 houses as part of a new green space.
The controversial plans for around sixty houses at Hill Top Moss on Hill Top Road in Walkden, already the scene of bitter protests and recriminations, are also in the Plan; the Council arguing that the development will "Provide a high quality frontage to Hill Top Lane, helping to present an attractive gateway into Blackleach Country Park" – which will, no doubt, rile the residents even further (see previous Salford Star articles – click here and click here).
Also up for a 75 house development is Moss Lane in Walkden, despite the fact that the "north-west corner of the site falls within the hazardous installation middle notification zone for a gas depot". As the Plan notes, "this will need to be reflected in the design of any development in accordance with health and safety guidance"!
Peel Holdings has also suggested plonking 315 houses on Swinton Golf Course. The Council responded "If the loss of part of the golf course was to be considered acceptable, then the site would in principle be suitable to accommodate housing development".
Meanwhile, the freshly named Charlestown Riverside is earmarked for a further 1,310 houses and apartments, stretching from the former Castle Irwell student block to Langley Road... "The riverside setting provides the opportunity to deliver a series of attractive housing developments" states the Plan, adding "However, the location next to the river also means that significant parts of the site are at risk of flooding."
The Plan states that sports pitches will be "lost", there could be a new primary school to cope with the influx, and that the area's heritage assets will be `protected and enhanced', particularly citing "the locally listed Manchester Racecourse Turnstiles at Cromwell Road". This is weird because only last month, Salford Council approved a plan to demolish them (see here).
Also on heritage, while Victoria Theatre is to be protected and Collier Baths will be `re-invigorated', the Plan says nothing about the listed Crown Theatre in Eccles, Monks Hall, Buile Hill Mansion, the Lancastrian Hall and more.
The Plan has lots to say about all the infrastructure to cope with 34,900 new properties over the next twenty years... that development "will not be permitted until an appropriate supply of school places can be guaranteed in the local area" and that it will be "Protecting, adapting and enhancing the city's existing transport infrastructure" and "Managing the impact of new development on transport networks", while "reducing the overall need to travel" with "An increase in the proportion of journeys made by walking and cycling".
The Plan adds that there will be a new M62-A57 link road at Barton and a junction on the M62 between junctions 11 and 12, and will be investigating "the potential for developing new road links across the Manchester Ship Canal between Salford and Trafford".
There's also information in the Plan about how the Council intends to cut emissions and move to low carbon, renewable and other energy sources, improve biodiversity at Chat Moss and cut pollution (more on this to follow). While all this is very nice, the Plan doesn't mention fracking once, nor the Council's attitude towards it.
The Local Plan for Salford is just a draft and all citizens have a right to challenge it and try to change it. The public consultation runs from Tuesday 8th November until Friday 6th January 2017, and all the details should be on Salford Council's website.
Comments on the Local Plan can be made by email to email@example.com
Online using the comments form at http://www.salford.gov.uk/draftlocalplancon
By post to: Draft Local Plan Consultation, Spatial Planning, Salford Civic Centre
Chorley Road, Swinton M27 5BY
Any questions about the consultation can be asked by contacting the Council's spatial planning team on 0161 793 3782 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
* While the Council calls this `Salford City Centre' for the Local Plan, in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework it's called just the `City Centre' that's part of Manchester City Centre.
See also related Salford Star articles...
Salford Green Belt Attack in Greater Manchester Planning Diktak - click here
Salford Labour Party Councillors Issued with Idiot Sheet on Green Belt Backlash - click here
Salford Council Tightens Up on Developer Planning Fee Evasion - click here