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SALFORD DEVELOPER TO AVOID £445,000 OF PLANNING FEES AT CLIFTON
 

Star date: 1st February 2017

YET ANOTHER DEVELOPER SET TO AVOID FEES AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING

In common with almost every developer in Salford these days, Hampstead Investments Ltd is set to avoid planning fees due to 'viability' issues at tomorrow's Salford City Council planning panel.

The scheme for up to 92 unaffordable properties at Clifton Business Park will avoid almost £445,000 in fees plus the required 10% affordable houses which Council policy states should be provided.

Full details here...


Tomorrow, Salford City Council planning panel will meet to consider giving outline permission for Hampstead Investments Ltd to build up to 92 unaffordable houses on an employment site at Clifton Business Park, on Wynne Avenue.

In line with virtually every single planning application that comes before the panel, this developer is again pleading that the scheme would not be `viable' if it had to pay full planning fees for things like open space, education and public realm, to mitigate the effects of its housing estate.

According to Salford City Council's own figures, Hampstead Investments should be paying £909,890 to plonk 92 houses in a mid/low value area. The Council has accepted a figure of just £465,000meaning the developer has avoided almost £445,000...

"The applicant, whilst in agreement to provide a financial contribution, does not agree, for reasons of scheme viability, to contribute the full amount considered by the City Council as necessary to mitigate the impacts of the development" states a Council planning officer's report.
.
"...The applicant's viability appraisal has been reviewed by the City Council's surveying consultants and a contribution of £465,000 has been agreed" they add.

According to Salford Council's own tables, this developer will be allowed to make around £4million profit as part of the costs on the scheme which make it `unviable'.

The developer should also be setting aside 10% of the 92 houses its proposing to build for nine affordable houses, in line with Salford Council's official policy. But they won't be doing this either...

"Hampstead Investments are of the view that due to the considerable abnormal costs associated with bringing this site forward, it will not be possible to deliver affordable housing on the site" the developer states in its Planning Supporting Statement, apparently accepted by the Council.

Instead, any payments towards affordable housing, off-site, will be possibly made via a `clawback' arrangement should the scheme make more money than it showed in its `viability assessment'.

Salford people must be asking themselves by now, with the Salford Star estimating a loss of planning fees to the city of over £42million*, plus over one thousand affordable houses, just why this situation is continuing.

It's partly to do with Tory Government planning rules, and partly to do with Salford Council's pathetic `Supplementary Planning' policy, brought in a few years ago that shows in certain areas developers don't have to provide any affordable housing or planning fees. Salford Council is now planning to change its useless policy in 2019 – by which time the developers' profit horse will have well and truly bolted.


*See previous Salford Star article – The £42 Million Planning Scandal – click here



politicalconscience of salford wrote
at 07:32:38 on 06 February 2017
A further £1/2M NOT in the coffers of Salford Council. When will they realise that if they collect such fees - instead of allowing a free hand to developers - then the cuts they administer to the most needy could be ameliorated!! UTTER SHAME on Salford Council..... Are we able to call for a "recall" referendum against ALL Salford Councillors? If not, why not a Council Tax strike, by holding back £10 from 2017/18 Council Tax bills .... Salford Council will have to take notice as it would cost more to collect £10 from each Council Tax payer than the cuts they propose? Enough IS Enough!!
 
Michael James Felse wrote
at 04:34:01 on 03 February 2017
I hope someone is charting all the planning fees in case we get a GM Metro Mayor with a mandate to have council none fees investigated. Brexit means it is now time for us to focus on Bringing Back Britain, starting with our creative students to turn Greater Manchester into the 2017 First Global Powerhouse.
 
Scott Cooper wrote
at 13:30:15 on 02 February 2017
Maybe ALL residents in the City should stop paying Council tax. It will be unviable for me to pay this.
 
white wrote
at 13:30:02 on 02 February 2017
This development is not in the most desirable of areas. The business park which it is replacing suffered from extreme vandalism. A path running around part of the boundary provided a safe haven for local idiots to bombard the buildings. The two office blocks close to the boundary had every window broken, and when the vandals broke the fence the interior fittings were also wrecked. I would hate to take the chance of owning a house anywhere near the edges of the development.
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 06:55:02 on 02 February 2017
I'll keep this short - so developers reading this can stop crying into their beer when they read it If you seriously cannot factor in the profit when you are peddling schemes to the Local Authority - you shouldn't be in the development game. I'm getting fed up of seeing land being snapped up in my city because of only two key factor - (1) its cheap (2) its near the "Regional centre". Carry on doing your developments on tick - but if you don't pay the fees to council for your developments - delay your marketeers for a few years, for plans will need to be signed off, roads and networks will need to be drawn up and services provided. Want your water connected? if the road isn't looked after your buyers take the cost in addition to any council tax and or water bills. think about it.
 
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