Caspia Management Ltd and Robinsons Brewery are applying for planning permission next week to demolish the Brown Cow pub on Worsley Road, near Eccles, and to build 21 two bedroom flats, 10 three bedroom houses and 18 four bedroom houses.
Winton councillors are objecting on the grounds of congestion and car parking; while residents are also objecting about possible flooding issues, the size of the development and 'the loss of a community pub and a fine building...the existing public house could be re-used for community purposes...'
Robinsons state that the pub is not 'viable' – but then adds that its proposed development isn't 'viable' either, if it had to pay the full planning fees to Salford Council.
The planning contributions are to mitigate the impacts of the development and include payments for 'Public Open Space, Public Realm Improvements, Education Facilities and Affordable Housing'.
The report being submitted to the planning panel next week doesn't break these payments down, in a complete dereliction of transparency; but gives the overall figure of £185,000 that the applicant and the Council have "agreed".
According to Salford Council's own figures, the Open Space contribution alone should be £146,778 and the Education Payment £56,578, which immediately sets the sub-total at £203,356.
The Council provides no figures for Public Realm but according to the Council SPD Planning Obligations tables, the total figure for all these mitigations should be £277,000.
As well as this, the developers should also be providing six affordable houses, based on 20% of 28 houses in the development. In line with Salford Council policy, they don't have to provide any affordable housing for the flats.
Again, there is no specific figure for the cost of providing affordable housing 'off site' as this varies throughout the city, but a very conservative estimate would be £60,000 per house, adding another £360,000 to the total bill.
So, according to Salford Star estimates, the developers should be paying a conservative £637,000 (£360,000+£277,000) – but, instead, have agreed a total of £185,000 with the Council, together with a 'clawback mechanism', "should the viability of the development increase in the future"...which it rarely does, officially.
To add eco insult to financial injury, the development will also see the loss of Category A and Category B trees along the Council's new Port Salford Greenway, a walking and cycling route that connects Worsley Village with Peel Green...
"The removal of these trees would have a detrimental effect upon the general and visual amenity of this section of the Greenway" states the planning report, and even the Council's arborist has objected. Planning officers merely state that the tree destruction is "regrettable...a moderate dis-benefit"...