Yesterday, the University of Salford launched a public consultation on the future of the old Castle Irwell student village. The event, held at the Beacon Centre, featured a mere four boards with very little detailed information about the plans, other than a redevelopment featuring up to five hundred houses and 'riverfront apartments', shops, some pocket parks and a possible new school.
The value of the land at Castle Irwell has shot up after the £10million public money investment into a new flood basin and stunning wetland area that borders the site (see here). Even so, under current Salford City Council policy the area is classed as 'low value' and, currently there is no compulsion for affordable housing.
When questioned on this at the consultation event, the planners couldn't answer. They hinted that the Council was thinking of bringing in a new policy for 20% affordable housing in the area but there is an on-going 'review' from which any new regulations won't kick in until 2019 (see here). The aim with this development is to go for 'outline' planning permission this summer.
The University, while applying for planning permission, won't be actually be building the site, with a developer still to be announced.
The plans also include a possible new primary school on the Castle Irwell site but there is actually, almost across the road, Charlestown Primary School, shut down a few years ago and kind of re-opened as an extension to River View Primary.
Meanwhile, the neglected but iconic old Racecourse turnstiles on the front of the site, which were originally due to be demolished after planning permission was granted (see previous Salford Star article Ė click here) will now be retained.
While the public consultation event was only for one day, the community can still give feedback and find out further details from the Castle Irwell website Ė click here