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SALFORD COUNCIL PLANNING SCANDAL CONTINUES WITH JUST ONE AFFORDABLE PROPERTY OUT OF 196
 

Star date: 22nd January 2018

WHEN IS THIS SALFORD COUNCIL PLANNING SCANDAL GOING TO END?

The planning panel of councillors for Salford City Council will be probably rubber stamping yet another huge development in Ordsall this week Ė two blocks of 'luxury' apartments, up to nine storeys high, off Ordsall Lane and Dyer Street.

From 196 properties being proposed by Selectric Investments Ltd, just one will be affordable, thanks to official Salford Council policy.

Full details here...


Salford Council Planning Obligations SPD Table
click image to enlarge

"Having reviewed the Council's Planning Obligations SPD...it is noted that the site falls within a 'mid' value area. As a consequence, it is understood no affordable housing will need to be provided..." developer's application to build 196 properties.


At last week's full meeting of Salford City Council, Conservative Councillor Robin Garrido read out bits of the Tory Government's planning policy and stated that, on affordable housing policies, the "ball is firmly in Salford Council's court"...

Responding, Councillor Derek Antrobus, Lead Member for Planning, laughed off the criticism as "windy rhetoric", blaming the Government's National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for putting developer profits before the needs of the community.

Who is right? The answer is that they both are. In terms of planning payment get-outs, developers are avoiding their obligations through use of 'viability assessments' showing that they won't make a 'reasonable profit' (as it states in the NPPF) if they had to cough up. Salford Council has refused to challenge developers on such avoidance, which the Salford Star reckons has lost the city over £40million.

While developers are also using 'viability' to avoid the provision of affordable housing, in many areas of the city Salford Council's official policies do not require developers to provide any affordable housing at all.

This crazy policy - the Supplementary Planning Document, or SPD - has led to the loss of hundreds of affordable properties in the city, just when the Salford Mayor et al are screaming about an 'affordable housing crisis' in the city.

This week, Salford Council's Planning Panel of councillors will again be rolling over...sorry...discussing yet another application for a huge block of 'luxury' apartments in Ordsall.

This latest one, off Ordsall Lane and Dyer Street, is for two blocks, up to nine storeys high, of 196 flats and 'duplexes' to be developed by Selectrica Investments Ltd, which is only being required to provide one affordable property as part of its obligations.*

If this development was across the road in the Quays, a 'high value area', it would have to provide 20% affordable housing, or forty properties either on or off site...But because this area of Ordsall is deemed only a 'mid-value' area it doesn't have to provide any at all for the apartments.

The developer only gets hit for the eight 'duplexes' which are classed as houses,and has to supply 10% affordable housing  - ie one house, instead of forty which would have cost the developer over £2million as a conservative estimate...

Of course, this bit of Ordsall is now much desired by developers, eager to sell to overseas investors, and is hardly 'mid-value'. Even the applicant gleefully states in its application, referring to its apartments...

"The SPD, updated in June 2015, sets out the city council's approach to securing planning obligations associated with new development...Having reviewed the Council's Planning Obligations SPD 'Residential Value Areas' website, it is noted that the site falls within a 'mid' value area. As a consequence, it is understood no affordable housing will need to be provided, based on the criteria set out within the SPD..."

As a consequence of this Salford Council policy, only one affordable property will be provided in Ordsall, which might not even be for 'social rent'.

As Councillor Garrido stated, when it comes to getting affordable housing from developers the ball really is in Salford Council's court. And the Council itself has admitted this, stating that it will change this policy in 2019 Ė by which time most valuable land in the city will already have planning permission.**

Who is being held to account for this mad policy that has lost the city hundreds of affordable homes? No-one it seems.



*The developer will be asked to pay £710,420 in planning fees on this scheme Ė for a bus top, a car share scheme, education and public realm. Plus that one affordable house.

** See previous Salford Star article: Salford Council Finally To Tighten Up Developer Planning Fee Evasion - click here

See also: A Tour Through Salford Council Spin On Affordable Housing Ė click here



Brianfkirkham wrote
at 20:05:51 on 02 February 2018
I canít help but feel the developers are having a field day in this city. If their projects are deemed to be viable then why on earth arenít they factoring in any profit into the scheme they are proposing? Just because a block of flats is in proximity to the next big thing does not give a developer the right to ratchet up the cost to the locals. We appear to have entered a time warp anyway...they knocked down flats in Salford for housing in the 70s and 80s only for it to reappear via the quays development and Salford uni.

Bob the regular wrote
at 19:41:17 on 23 January 2018
If say the money from council house sales was used to build more dwellings that would have been good ,but it wasn't. Even so ,these houses were not sold to greedy developers , they were sold to council houses tennants. When perhaps these people died or went into care homes, then they were sold to greedy developers by greedy inheritors anxious to get their share of grannys house, or greedy councils who wanted their care home costs back. When I kick the bucket, My home will not be sold. I have made sure of that. My descendants, Salford people like me , will have a roof over their heads.Financial planning for the future used to be a pastime of the rich, now we all have to do it, to keep ahead of all the politicians, housing professionals, bankers and all the rest of the shysters who try to shaft us. We all need to keep a look out for our own greed and stupidity as well.

retired socailist wrote
at 08:22:30 on 23 January 2018
What is affordable? who deems what anyone on basic living wage can afford, funny i have never seen a figure. If the council were to fight the planers of these money making boxes on the quays on the viability option what would the cost entail who deems if the legal challenge is viable or not? is the Tories policy to blame or the shiftless buggers at the council. As anyone at anytime a record of this Labour council fighting a case and winning? As anyone beside the star taken them to task on the issue it's obvious the Tory opposition on the council have little wish to fight central government policy and the case from Robin Garrido was in all intent and purpose weak in it's delivery at council. Planning is a beast intense and a pitfall for the unwary, perhaps one day people will wake up to take on the fight in regards to housing a basic right we the people have let pass. Caroline makes the case of Tory sell offs, the housing groups like shelter at the time made the same case and they where right but i failed to remember any one complain, perhaps she should look slightly further to the fact how many people not from the country take a large percentage of those homes. When we rehouse others before our own surely we have gone in the wrong direction, the story of the sas hero living in a bb while a terrorist lives in a council flat sticks solidly in my mind.

Caroline Gray wrote
at 18:10:58 on 22 January 2018
the problem we have is councils houses were sold very low cost to the people by conservative government.. now moaning need more council houses ?truth will out ..

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