Countryside Properties today posted an operating profit of £91.2m for 2015, up a massive 93% on last year's £47.1million. During almost the same period the developer avoided £2,309,547 in Section 106 payments and other planning fees due to Salford Council and the council tax payers of the city. Countryside also avoided providing 78 affordable properties in Salford.
In Lower Broughton, where Countryside has almost been handed the whole area for `regeneration', the developer avoided £1,226,341 and the provision of 19 affordable houses at The Meadows; and £296,872 and 11 affordable houses at Tenerife Street.
On land at the Linnyshaw Industrial Estate in Walkden the company avoided £467,670 in fees and providing 36 affordable houses; and at its latest development on the site of the old Seedley Primary School, Countryside avoided paying £318,664 and the provision of 12 affordable properties.
In each case that came before Salford Council's planning panel, Countryside pleaded poverty, arguing that if it had to pay the planning fees the housing schemes would not be `viable'.
As previous Salford Star articles have shown, the figures within the `viability assessments' that are presented to Salford Council officers include huge profits to developers – which can be anything up to £24million.
Wallowing in the 93% profit jump, which also saw operating margins grow from 10.1% to 14.8%, Countryside Properties Chief Executive, Ian Sutcliffe laughed ...sorry...said... "We are delighted to have continued to deliver our operational and financial objectives. We have focused on delivering strong top line and bottom line growth, while maintaining our capital discipline, to give a significant improvement in operating profit, margin and ROCE..."
For full details of Salford's £19million Planning Scandal see the electronic print issue of Salford Star – click here