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SALFORD CRESCENT POLICE STATION DEVELOPER TO AVOID ALMOST £1.5MILLION PLANNING FEES
 

Star date: 30th March 2017

PLANS REVEALED FOR CRESCENT POLICE STATION

Plans have finally been revealed for the Crescent Police Station which has been derelict for years. The facade will be retained, there'll be 117 apartments within the complex and 23 townhouses attached. However, Stama Developments (Salford) Ltd, which is transforming the site, will initially avoid £1,467,738 in planning fees and the provision of affordable housing due to the usual 'viability' deal.

Incredibly, the planning application reveals that if Salford City Council does get any 'clawback' payments from the developer in future for affordable housing – they will be going towards a new bridge!

Full details here...


Salford Crescent Police Station Development Salford Crescent Police Station Development Salford Crescent Police Station Development
Salford Crescent Police Station Development
click image to enlarge

Salford City Council's planning policies and practices get weirder every week. At next week's meeting of its planning panel, councillors will be considering a planning application from Stama Developments (Salford) Ltd to transform the derelict Crescent Police Station into 117 apartments and 23 townhouses, while keeping the building's facade.

Within the application, Council planning officers set out the necessary planning payments and fees, which total £1,467,738, made up of the following...

Open space - £530,310
Education - £100,178
Public Realm – £210,000
Affordable Housing – £627,250

However, the officer's report adds, as usual, that "The applicant has submitted a viability appraisal that has been assessed by external consultants given the Council's ownership of the site. Their advice is that the development cannot sustain a financial contribution at this stage.

"Profit levels are such that the scheme is likely to generate a profit level less than would normally be considered acceptable by a developer" it adds "However a clawback mechanism is still advised."

The 'clawback mechanism' usually relates to getting some money back off developers if their scheme does make a huge profit. At the start, however, they pay nowt.

What is very strange about this particular application is that the Council states that any money it does get back will be going, not towards affordable housing (even though £627,250 is earmarked for that) but towards its much longed-for iconic bridge over the Meadows – which will cost £4million, a price which has doubled since the Council first announced it (see previous Salford Star article for background – click here)

The planning officer's report states quite clearly(ish!) that "The Council will require planning obligations for affordable housing", before the very next sentence adds: "The maximum financial contribution of £1,467,738 would be directed towards the provision of the Meadows Bridge and/or public realm improvements along the Crescent Corridor."

Bridges before affordable housing? This cannot be serious, in light of last week's announcement by Paul Longshaw, the Council's Lead Member for Housing, that "we're committed to building genuinely affordable housing in the city". From this planning report it seems that Salford Council is more committed to 'building genuinely unaffordable bridges in the city'...

It's all very odd and, probably, immaterial, as these clawback arrangements have rarely, if ever, produced the full planning fees that should be payable to the city.

In the meantime, councillors sat on the planning panel might at least wish to pose the question whether Salford Council seriously puts bridges before affordable housing...


Update: 6th April 2017 - Planning permission for the development was refused at today's panel meeting, not on lack of Section 106 funds but issues to do with design and green space.


Alice wrote
at 12:41:33 on 31 March 2017
It goes on and on! How can one believe the council's professed intention to build more affordable houses when, with each new development, it lets the developers off this responsibility. One loses any faith in what it says. It seems as though this Council is run by a consortium of business men, with the council agreeing to whatever they say.
 
notagain wrote
at 12:41:08 on 31 March 2017
Councillor Derek Antrobus, the boss of planning at Salford, has sat on the board of Salford University for years, so work out why the University gets a bridge to serve its student residents.... University 1st, Salford residents always 2nd or 3rd.
 
tony ormonde wrote
at 05:26:54 on 31 March 2017
The Star continues to provide much needed info about the horrendous state of the Labour controlled LA. Housing policies are designed to deliver "social Cleansing" of City Centre Salford and the return of Ghetto's. Protests and strike action are the only way to force Labour to even listen to alternatives to their brown nosing of bosses
 
Graham English wrote
at 05:26:33 on 31 March 2017
The initial scheme was completely unacceptable to the local residents and community. The scheme was redesigned by an architect called Annabelle Tugby. We, the local residents, found it a sensitive response to our concerns; and we are backing it 100%. The Council, however, appear to want to revert to the previous iteration that compromised both out light and our privacy. Let's hope that next Thursday's meeting falls in our collective favour.
 
Michael cullen wrote
at 20:05:44 on 30 March 2017
Good news for the area, a good quality development, discussion and negotiation with neighbours resulting in an improved scheme.
 
down but not out! wrote
at 18:53:35 on 30 March 2017
Have the people of Salford been consultaed on these decisions, both regarding yet another fee waivering project and whether we want money spent on a bridge or more important things?? I doubt it.
 
Cath Connett wrote
at 13:01:11 on 30 March 2017
If they "can't afford" to pay it, they should b*gger off and build their unaffordable apartments elsewhere. Salford isn't a benevolent society for property developers.
 
Em3 wrote
at 12:21:04 on 30 March 2017
What a surprise. It seems that Salford's Labour council have made planning permission and affordable housing optional for their mates the developers!
 
Paul Gerrard wrote
at 12:21:01 on 30 March 2017
Do we know of any developers paying planning fees? Why would they, they'd be a fool to, Salford's a soft touch. How much has the council forfeited by now, Salford Star?
 
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