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SALFORD COUNCIL TO WAIVE ANOTHER £1.6MILLION IN PLANNING FEES
 

Star date: 27th March 2015

DEVELOPERS IN ORDSALL AND WALKDEN TO BE LET OFF WITH £1.68MILLION AND PROVISION OF OVER 100 AFFORDABLE HOUSES

In the latest round of planning giveaways, Salford Council is set to waive obligations for the provision of 111 affordable houses and £1.68million in planning fees for developers building over five hundred flats and houses in Ordsall and Walkden.

If councillors accept Council officer recommendations, Countryside Properties will avoid over £450,000 in fees for its Walkden development, while Villafont Ltd and Simandhar Swami LLP will avoid a cool £1.2million in fees for building eight blocks of flats and shops, up to fifteen storeys high, by the riverside in Ordsall.

Full details here...


Yet again, Salford Council is set to waive £millions worth of fees and obligations for affordable housing at its planning panel meeting next week, if councillors approve proposals for hundreds of flats and houses in Walkden and Ordsall.

On Woden Street, by the riverside in Ordsall, Villafont Ltd and Simandhar Swami LLP are aiming to build 372 apartments, plus a resident's gym, cafe, shops and offices in eight blocks up to fifteen storeys high.

The flats are all for the Private Rental Sector (PRS) and, if Salford Council policy was followed, 20% of them, or 75 properties, would have to be set aside for affordable housing. Instead, following a report which stated the scheme wouldn't be `viable' if the developers had to provide these, the condition is set to be dropped – with the now-usual claw back arrangement for the money if the `viability' of the development improves in the future.

If a scheme isn't `viable' it means that the developer's profit isn't high enough.

The Ordsall developers should also be paying a total of £1,221,278 in planning obligations (Open Space: £648,718, Public Realm, Infrastructure and Heritage
£572,560
) but again these payments are set to be waived due to `viability' issues and the fact that the scheme will include some work on the riverside footpath, although not to the size `envisaged in the guidance'.

Meanwhile, in Walkden, Countryside Properties - which has already avoided £1.5million in planning fees in Broughton - is set to avoid a further £467,670 worth of payments.

Countryside wants to build 181 two, three and four bedroom houses on Linnyshaw Industrial Estate around Manchester Road and Moss Lane, despite residents' complaints about the impact of traffic.

Countryside should be paying £1,167,670 (Open Space: £463,450; Public Realm, infrastructure and heritage: £271,500 and Education: £432,720.75) – but has offered to cough up just £700,000 (£428,041.46 towards the expansion of St Paul's CofE Primary and £271,958.54 towards a cycle path between Walkden and Windmill Road) due, yet again, to `viability' issues.

Countryside should also be setting aside 20% of its development, or 36 properties, for affordable housing but this condition is also being waived, with a claw back arrangement in place should the developer hit maximum profits on the scheme.

Both applications are set to be discussed at Salford Council's planning panel next with recommendations to approve...


• See also previous Salford Star articles...

Salford Council refuses to reveal planning viability figures - click here

Public Scandal as community robbed to line developers' pockets - click here


Graphic by Steven Speed


Salford Star wrote
at 19:44:32 on 28 March 2015
See White's comment below.. We reckon it's around £20million - see the link at the end of the article for the breakdown
 
white wrote
at 16:58:29 on 28 March 2015
If Villafont do not pay the £1.2m it will cost them just over £3000 per apartment. Surely this does not make the whole scheme unviable, especially when one considers that they are not providing cheaper affordable units and the not inconsiderable rents they will get from the planned residents’ gym, the café, shops and offices. Similarly making the due payment would cost Countryside properties around £2500 per property. Surely they could afford this especially as the necessity to include, obviously cheaper, affordable housing has again been dropped These companies are trying it on, and what is worse, are getting away with it, through the ineptitude, or worse, of our council. Has anyone calculated the grand total of planning fees that our council has waived for various companies?
 
Bob Clarke wrote
at 13:59:42 on 28 March 2015
Countryside are developing near us. Take a look at how the operate https://www.facebook.com/groups/1598478033731629/
 
Another wrote wrote
at 13:59:18 on 28 March 2015
As "wrote" has said, the developers will not piss off while the fees keep being waived. The council should just say "Not viable? Ok we will deal with another developer unless you can come up with a scheme that is viable." If you added up all the developers fees that have been waived since the start of the cuts, Would they actually pay for all the services that have been cut?
 
Terry Brooks wrote
at 16:02:00 on 27 March 2015
I think its about time that the financial affairs of the people taking these decisions are investigated. Something smells to high heaven.
 
Paul Gerrard wrote
at 15:15:11 on 27 March 2015
Spot on, Mike Kelly. The developers are laughing all the way to the bank and thinking what a little treasure trove they have in Salford Council. This is wrong in so many ways - acres of renewable housing condemned and flattened, no new affordable houses built for a new generation of Salfordians, and no income to offset against the cuts they're always complaining about. Fight the Tories? This lot? Can't even tell when they're being fleeced.
 
wrote
at 15:15:02 on 27 March 2015
They will not piss off anywhere mike no other council are stupid enough to fall for the constant bleeding heart its not viable story these wide boys are constantly playing .only this council as the required amount of amateurs to be taken in by it again and again the communist dictatorship is alive and well and living in Salford . ho sorry forgot they don't live in Salford
 
Mike Kelly wrote
at 11:25:56 on 27 March 2015
Lots of Developers claiming viability issues when planning to build in Salford and the Council letting them off with payments. Question.........why build in the first place if its not viable ? Developers are riding on the crest of the expansion of Manchester especially in the Chapel St / Ordsall areas.....using the proximity of the development s to Manchester City Centre, if they cannot make the schemes work for the benefit of all including Salford and its residents why not just piss off and build elsewhere.
 
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