Next week, Salford City Council's planning panel will consider an application by Knight Knox International to build 133 unaffordable flats and `commercial units' in three blocks up to 14 storeys high.
The site is next to the small Tesco and Ordsall Leisure Centre which are currently being hemmed in by the erection of hundreds of flats. In the recent past, such a development would expect to bring in around £600,000 in planning fees (based on official Salford Council figures) which would be spent on local amenities, plus around 13 affordable properties. But Knight Knox will pay nothing. Not a cent.
Even when these planning fees are due to be paid, developers tend to avoid them by claiming their schemes wouldn't be `viable' if they had to pay up (see the £19million Planning Scandal in the print issue of Salford Star – click here). Now, however, Salford Council's new Supplementary Planning Document which came into force this June and allows for massive developer profits (see previous Salford Star article – click here) categorises Ordsall as a `mid value' area – in which anyone building high density flats doesn't have to contribute any finance to the city at all.
On the Knight Knox application, Council planning officers state "The site now lies within an area where under the newly adopted supplementary planning document no
requirement for a financial contribution from apartment schemes exists..."
Meanwhile, the other, Quays, side of Trafford Road is deemed a `high value' area in which developers could expect to pay full planning fees (although the Council has also ripped up any demands for affordable housing in high density blocks in high value areas due to `viability' issues).
The result is that, once the Knight Knox development is complete, the whole stretch of the Ordsall side of Trafford Road will be full of blocks of unaffordable flats – with the city and local residents getting virtually nothing in return.
People might argue that the Council Tax from these properties will make up for the planning losses but an official presentation by Council officers in September highlighted the `negative indirect effects of regeneration'... "Increased population = increased demands for our services and capital expenditure"...
Given the huge development of flats and houses around Ordsall, over the last fifteen years Salford Council reports show that just ten schemes in Ordsall have benefitted from planning, or Section 106, contributions, including Ordsall Hall, the `aspirational walkway' to Media City on the waterfront and the two local parks. Now the area is set to get nothing at all...