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SALFORD PATHFINDER PUBLIC INQUIRY
 

Star date: 18th March 2011

SALFORD STAR PATHFINDER REPORT
Part 3

THE PATHFINDER IN LOWER BROUGHTON

£100MILLION INVESTED FOR A RETURN OF…
685 New Houses, Two Shops, a School That's Too Small, an Unused Field, and Increased Unemployment!

The Audit Commission report into the Manchester and Salford Pathfinder uses Lower Broughton, or the re-packaged New Broughton, as a case study. It concludes that "There are significant concerns for the future phases of the development"…

Full story here…


Lower Broughton Lower Broughton Salford Lower Broughton Salford
Lower Broughton Salford Lower Broughton Salford Lower Broughton Salford
Lower Broughton Salford Lower Broughton Salford
click image to enlarge

LOWER BROUGHTON IN ECONOMIC BLOOM?

Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here

Last week the Audit Commission produced a report on the Manchester and Salford Pathfinder, the £354million housing programme which has aimed to regenerate Central Salford by pulling existing houses down and replacing them with `nicer' ones.

In Part 2 of the Salford Star call for a Public Inquiry into Pathfinder, we looked at how the programme was merely a free for all for developers' profits. In Parts 3 and 4 we look at how the programme has affected the wellbeing of the community in Salford.

ECONOMIC WELLBEING

The Audit Commission report tried to `reflect' the economic impact of Pathfinder, focusing on what has been achieved in Lower and Higher Broughton, although it concentrates on Lower Broughton as a case study.

Incredibly, the report states that "Pathfinders have only recently been required to record the economic impact of their interventions. No formal data is therefore available to report the total number of jobs and training places secured since 2003".

Throughout the Manchester and Salford Pathfinder programme, the report quotes "estimates" of thousands of construction jobs based on "1.25 jobs created for every new house built" - but can only point to a case study in Lower Broughton where 28 unemployed local residents were given apprenticeships and work experience in construction. However at the last East Salford Community Committee meeting a formal question was asked as to why no Salford people appeared to be working on construction sites in Lower Broughton. The Committee is still waiting for an answer.

Further proof that few jobs have been created is given in the report as `worklessness' rates in Lower Broughton are now higher than when Pathfinder started in 2003, as are the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance. The number of people claiming Income Support is about the same.

Meanwhile, the rate of domestic burglaries has almost doubled in Lower Broughton over the last three years, from 22 per thousand households to 42, although the rate of car crime has fallen slightly.

Average incomes in Lower Broughton, the report states, are £5,000 less than the Salford average, and a staggering £8000 less than the national average. It adds "This is making housing less affordable for local people and increasing the demand for social housing".

Indeed, house prices have all but collapsed in Lower Broughton, with over £20,000 being knocked off the average price of a house since the peak of 2007"This makes it hard to continue" the Audit Commission report states "without compromising standards or involving public investment."

We reported in Part 2 how Lower Broughton developers Countryside Properties has already been bailed out with £8million government `Kickstart' money. The report adds that the development has had loads of other publicly financed packages chucked at it too, including funding from Salford Council.

The aim for `New Broughton' was "3,500 mixed tenure homes alongside a full range of community facilities and services, including shops and leisure facilities, schools, open spaces and local employment opportunities".

So far, Lower Broughton has seen over £100million of public and private money invested for a return of 685 new houses, a new primary school (that's too small see here and here), an unused field, two shops and increased unemployment.

To say the regeneration of Lower Broughton is failing would be an understatement.

With another eight years to run, `New Broughton' would need a further £400million to complete, and even the Audit Commission report says this is fairyland thinking…

"There are significant concerns for the future phases of the development" it states "Without continued public funding…it will be difficult to complete the development. In particular, there is a danger of significant areas of land being left with little immediate prospect of development."

To put it mildly, some members of Lower Broughton's community are unimpressed…

Read the SALFORD STAR PATHFINDER REPORT PART 4: COMMUNITY IMPACT: What do you think of it so far? `Rubbish!' CLICK HERE

ALSO READ PART 5 HERE

AND CONCLUSION PART 6 HERE

Photo shows a New Broughton house up for sale

 


 

M BROPHY wrote
at 12:52:16 PM on Monday, March 21, 2011
the council are in league with the developers and the housing associations, they know it is illegal to put a service charge in with your rent on a mixed scheme (for HB purposes)who will have to pay in the end?
 
Awful wrote
at 6:19:17 AM on Saturday, March 19, 2011
That is terrible Val. I am so glad that I do not have to live in an area like that and with councillors like that. I hope it all works out for you.
 
Val Broadbent wrote
at 1:04:55 AM on Saturday, March 19, 2011
Councillor Merry. It's true that you and other Councillors have been coming to our Residents Meetings (I note though that the last NBRA meeting you attended was in October 2010) But it's almost 4 years since the first residents (phase 1) moved in and still we have the same complaints about the houses as we did then, nothing has changed and nothing has been addressed. We are paying a Service charge for no services.(this increases again in April) We had perfectly good modern homes taken from us, 22 year old energy saving homes designed by Salford University. They were replaced by cheap basic boxes built to a poor design with shoddy workmanship. These houses are an insult to what we had. We had our own driveways here we have a parking space in what can only be described as a public carpark. We were promised secure parking behind electronic gates and monitored by CCTV if we gave up our driveways. It never happened. Months after we moved in we were told the CCTV was too expensive so they dropped it, without telling us of course. The electronic gates never work. The houses we left had brick built sheds with tiled and felted roofs and interior lighting. Here we have a dented, rusting tin box at the top of steeply sloping gardens that ices up in the winter and then defrosts and soaks everything in there. Nothing can be stored in these sheds and there is certainly nowhere to store anything inside the shoe box that passes for a house. These houses might have been OK for first time buyers just setting out but for families with 20/30/40 years of possessions they are useless. Contrary to what Councillor Peter Connor (Lead member for Housing) recently wrote about us being happy and our quality of life has drastically improved after we were moved from our 'VERY OLD PROPERTIES' is as many have said it's RUBBISH. Quality of life has seriously diminished since moving here. We have already been told the 'Partners' know they have made mistakes but they have learned from them and moved on. There is no moving on for us 'Guinea Pigs, 'Mistakes' ... No amount of apologies from Countryside Properties will fix the gates, install the promised CCTV, fix the sinking gardens, replace the sheds with useable wooden ones like the rest of the development got after they saw what a mess ours turned out to be. Phase 1 were treated like slum clearance and promised the earth to get us to move, we were discriminated against given what the rest of the development got after they saw how unhappy we were. I believe the plans that were used for Phase 1 were originally for Earl, Kempster and Wheaters (these were old houses) but because of several years delay in the start of the build all the old streets had been demolished but Countryside still had the plans on the shelf and they had to get rid of them. Phase 1 residents never got the decent housing they were promised. All we have ever asked for is to be treated like the other phases that benefited from the mistakes that were made with our houses. We are the poor relations that didn't deserve a Solar Panel (all other phases have them) a flat paved useable garden, a driveway (The next Phase after Phase 1 got them) a wooden shed. We never even got a coat hook inside or even a full kitchen (every house had units missing for the first 18 months) and flooded kitchens every time it rained because no drains had been put in. It's about time the public knew what really happened in New Broughton and not just the 'Pretty Pictures' that keep appearing.
 
Rob wrote
at 1:04:21 AM on Saturday, March 19, 2011
I can't get my head round this - £100M for 685 houses and a school... if the school cost... lets say £30M then the cost of building the houses stands at £100k each - that is before any are sold or 'given' to anyone relocated? Am I just being dim here or is there something I'm missing?
 
Salford Star wrote
at 3:41:40 AM on Friday, March 18, 2011
See John Merry's comment below... Wait for Part 4 and 5!
 
John Merry wrote
at 3:39:55 AM on Friday, March 18, 2011
We have been working with the residents to deal with some of the issues around phase 1 of the development . It does not surprise me that since the recession house prices have fallen and unemployment risen .I do believe that given the large areas of empty land and flight from the area redevelopment was needed and indeed the argument from many of the residents in phase 1 was not that they were in principle opposed it was concern about the implementation I and the other Broughton Councillors intend to continue to work with them
 
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