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DEVELOPER THAT AVOIDED OVER £150,000 IN PLANNING FEES NOW GETS PAID £175,000 BY SALFORD CITY COUNCIL
 

Star date: 25th October 2017

SALFORD PLANNING MADNESS CONTINUES AS COUNCIL PAYS CHAPEL STREET DEVELOPER £175,000

The total madness of Salford Council's planning policy is set to take an even more crazy turn at Carpino Place, on Oldfield Road, where English Cities Fund (ECf) is building 22 townhouses priced at up to £380,000.

When planning permission was granted for the development, ECf avoided over £150,000 in planning fees due to 'viability', including over £69,000 for public realm improvements which were to be paid 'in kind'. Now, however, Salford Council is set to pay ECf £175,000 for, er, public realm improvements. 

Full details here...


Carpino Place Salford
click image to enlarge

Earlier this year, English Cities Fund (ECf)* got planning permission for 22 'luxury townhouses' on the site of the old Salvation Army hostel on the corner of Oldfield Road and James Street.

Over £2million of public money (including £100,000 from Salford City Council) had already been spent acquiring the site, demolishing the hostel and preparing it for developers.

When ECf applied for planning permission for the townhouses, branded Carpino Place, a Section 106 contribution was set at £119,400, itself a ridiculously low figure after the Council agreed that there were 'viability' issues if ECf had to pay the full amount.

ECf had to provide only £2,237 for Open Space towards the Islington Street Play Area (rather than £96,413, according to the Council's own figures); plus £47,762 for extra primary school places; and £69,400 for Public Realm...

However, instead of paying out the £69,400 for Public Realm, the Council stated that the amount "is to be paid in kind as English Cities Fund will be undertaking the public realm improvements themselves".

So, in the event, ECF paid only £49,999 for education and open space, with a 'clawback' agreement of £91,124 "should the viability of the development increase in the future".

The viability certainly looks to have increased because ECf is currently boasting that there are only three of its properties left for sale at Carpino Place, where the total value of houses is £6.4million. The Council should be jumping up and down getting its clawback money to pay for public realm. But no. Instead, the Council is proposing to actually pay ECf £175,000 for, er, 'public realm enhancements' next to the site.

A report going to councillors next week states the money is for "Providing 1060sq/m of new public realm space with matching paving materials to Chapel Street, a new bus stop and cycle lane with 3 new trees and 6 planting beds".

When the original planning agreement was put in place, any 'clawback' money was going towards 'Islington Street Play Area, Open space adjacent to Islington Street Play Area, Islington Park and Open space between James Street and Islington Mill'.

Someone kind of forgot about public space, and a bus stop and cycle lane which could have been claimed under 'transport' payments to help enhance the area for the posh townhouses.

So now, Salford Council is commissioning ECf to the tune of £175,000 to "deliver the public realm improvements", while also coughing up £83,821 on top for design fees, surveys, site supervision etc, making a total of £258,821.

It will also cost the Council almost £3,000 a year to maintain the new areas, and it will lose £4,500 in revenue from an advertising hoarding that will have to come down.

The contactor being used by ECf is John Turner Construction Group, which the Council report states, has lots of social value...including giving lucky pupils at the nearby St Philips CE Primary School "a behind the scenes view of the construction process at Carpino Place, delivering an assembly all about the development...

"School assemblies and talks are important to the next generation to feel part of the area where they live" the report adds. Prices for a three bed townhouse at the site range from £289,950 to £299,950, and for a four bed townhouse, £379,950.

When the Carpino Place development was launched, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, said: "Salford is growing at a rapid rate. The city is being transformed with desperately needed new homes for the community..."


* ECf, or English Cities Fund, is a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General Property and the Homes and Communities Agency, with support from Salford City Council.

Normally, developments from ECf aren't subject to publicly available details on Section 106 contributions, due to a deal struck for the whole Chapel Street and New Bailey area a few years ago. However, Carpino Place falls geographically outside that area so the Council planning department has had to declare figures.

wrote
at 07:04:11 on 28 October 2017
Felse --a lot of the problem is Salford people being moved on to make way for the people who buy all these apartments(Flats) they are building. Please lead the way and piss off out of Salford and help to start to make it a better place. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Make that step yours and go. You are an attention seeking "WALT"

wrote
at 19:37:08 on 27 October 2017
All those who thought Felse was a self-publicising, political butterfly must be overjoyed. He has forgiven them! But he still makes his demands, that no-one takes any notice of.

Michael James Felse wrote
at 14:19:13 on 27 October 2017
It must be hard to attract builders and this is one way. But what about social housing. We need over a million nationally which means Salford's equal share needs to be 3000. Where, when, what and how are my questions. Does Salford Council have a plan. I demand to know for the thousands frustrated on waiting lists. Salford must lead the way and get back to true socialism in caring about each other. To this end I forgive those who made nasty comments about me. I welcome togetherness by wiping the slate clean of all bad past policies. I hope it is not too late to turn Salford into the greatest community in England. The Care City.

Mary Ferrer wrote
at 05:03:40 on 27 October 2017
Alice,if they still have public questions at the start of full council,think this would be a very interesting question to ask.and the answer would be even more interesting.Thats if they would be able to answer your question. Could be of a sensitive nature.in other words "sod off hes my mate"

wrote
at 08:27:41 on 26 October 2017
Alice is right. What we need is an elected voice not afraid to force a public audit. Deciding if sitting Councillors can be surcharged to the tune of the £40million. I read Felsie triggered the Donnygate council inquest having councillors set to prison. Shock waves in Salford if only we could get such an audit thing in Salford. What we could do with £40million. Would be like us winning the lottery.

Hilda Palmer wrote
at 04:29:14 on 26 October 2017
Good work as usual revealing such craziness Salford Star. How much of this sort of thing goes on across all councils, is common ot idiocies with 'Planning Law' and how much is particular to Salford CC??

Alice wrote
at 04:29:06 on 26 October 2017
It would be good to hear from the Council why it has decided on this policy of subsidising developers and not insisting on the payment of their financial liabilities. It seems so wrong to let them off these responsibilies, especially when there are public services and needed facilities being closed or facing cuts. I am sure there are many people like myself who would like an explanation. Could some responsible Councillor, preferably one from the Planning Committee, write to the Star and give a explanation. As you represent us this doesn't seem much to ask. This recent story add to the saga and must therefore be a policy. Clarification is the needed. ,

Michael James Felse wrote
at 04:28:32 on 26 October 2017
Just checking Bob, you do not mean me when saying a pain in the ass. Surely, but quite agree money folk will not put up with excuses, crap or hoodwinking from any Council. Openness and transparency and public respect have to be the Salford Way.

Bob wrote
at 19:57:04 on 25 October 2017
At the bottom of this page ,where you type the two words to prove your not a robot, todays words are "extra rubbish". how appropriate. It gets worse and worse. Only the other day, in this journal, we had one of our wonderful labour councillors crying the tale about how his brother who is a homeless person with drug and alcohol problems had nowhere to live. Well, on that site on Oldfield road, and on Bloom street nearby, there used to be accomodation for homeless people.(just thinking, what's Cllr Mullen doing talking to the Salford Star? Does he not know that Labour councillors are not allowed to talk to the Star. Does the Warrington mad hatter know about this?)Another thing,who in their right mind is going to pay £380 000 to live there? I wouldn't. The good thing though, is perhaps the people who will stump up with that sort of cash might not be prepared to put up with the crap we get from our council. They could be bringing in allies for our struggle. Thats the thing about people with a bit of brass.They stir it a bit and can be a pain in the arse. Perfect example often writes in the columns here. Love him or hate him, one thing we can all agree on,he's a pain in the arse, and them in our town hall are usually on the receiving end. Your enemies enemy can be your best friend.

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