Euro Car Parks, or ECP Holdings, is proposing to include the cheaper 'grey composite aluminium cladding and bronze metallic aluminium cladding' instead of 'fair faced concrete cladding panels' on its new development on Gore Street, at the junction of Trinity Way and Chapel Street.
The controversial ACM cladding has come under much scrutiny since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, with Salford housing associations and Salford Council beginning to strip the material off tower blocks in the city. Now ECP Holdings wants the panels included on its three huge blocks of PRS (Private Rental Sector) apartments ranging from 13 to 22 storeys, to save costs.
A planning application report going to Salford planning councillors next week states in one huge long sentence that... "One of the key reasons for having to amend the design of the scheme is that detailed costings demonstrated that the use of fair faced concrete cladding would result in a significant impact on the viability of the scheme, resulting from the cost of the material itself, together with the associated construction cost implications due to the foundation strengthening required to support this, the timescales and crane requirements associated with its erection, and other cost related risks associated with its procurement.
"As such" the report adds "the fair faced concrete cladding panels have been removed from the scheme design. The principal elevations of the residential blocks would comprise grey composite aluminium cladding and bronze metallic aluminium cladding."
Apparently Salford Council planning officers have worked with the developer which they believe will result in a "high quality scheme that effectively responds to the site's highly prominent location at the intersection of Chapel Street and Trinity Way".
Incredibly, the report explains that "Fire safety of proposed building materials is not a planning consideration..."
It adds that "notwithstanding this the applicant has confirmed that the proposed cladding materials would be fully compliant in this regard..."
So that's ok then...
* See also today's previous Salford Star article on how ECP Holdings has already avoided £1million in planning fees for this site and is now going back to Salford City Council asking for more reductions due to 'viability' – click here