Star date: 31st March 2016


Property (Done) Ltd, of which Fred Done and his brother Peter are directors, is seeking planning permission to demolish the Grade A locally listed Black Horse pub and plonk 399 unaffordable flats in blocks of up to 21 storeys high in the Crescent conservation area, despite objections from Historic England.

Done will be paying no planning fees because the development is `unviable'. And even Salford Council officers state that "a high degree of harm is caused to the setting of the conservation area". Yet they are recommending that councillors approve the incredibly shabby scheme at next week's planning panel.

Full details here...

The Black Horse Pub Salford The Black Horse Pub Salford The Black Horse Pub Salford
The Black Horse Pub Salford The Black Horse Pub Salford The Black Horse Pub Salford
Fred Done Flat Scheme The Crescent Fred Done Flat Scheme The Crescent The Black Horse Pub Salford
The Black Horse Pub Salford The Black Horse Pub Salford Fred Done
The Black Horse Pub Salford
click image to enlarge

It's going to scar the setting of the Crescent conservation area...it's going to trash a Grade A locally listed pub...the developer itself can't afford to build it...Salford people can't afford to live in it...and it's giving not a penny back to the community in planning obligations. Only Salford City Council could potentially approve such an application...

Fred `Bet Fred' Done is at it again. Having just won the Salford Star Mary Burns `Feed The Rich' Award for evading over £1million in planning fees for his horrific Black Friars pub flats development and then getting a cheap loan of over £17million from the Greater Manchester Housing Fund (see here), his company is now picking on the Crescent conservation area and the Grade A locally listed Black Horse pub.

Property (Done) Ltd, of which Fred, his brother Peter and two other members of the family are directors, is seeking planning permission to erect 399 unaffordable rental flats in three blocks up to 21 storeys high, plus retail units, on top of, and around, the site of the Grade A locally listed Black Horse pub in the middle of the Crescent conservation area.

Historic England has slated the proposal and its "proposed height and slab-like design", stating that it will "constitute a high level of harm to the character and appearance of the Crescent conservation area", arguing that the Black Horse should be incorporated into any development.

Even Salford Council planning officers acknowledge that, despite its state of disrepair, the Black Horse does "contribute to the streetscape and to the character and appearance of the conservation area". And that "It is accepted that a high degree of harm is caused to the setting of the conservation area and of the listed buildings on Crescent frontage".

Yet they conclude that "substantial weight should be given to the regenerative benefits that accrue from delivery of a high quality scheme for almost 400 new homes in this part of the city".

Benefits? The development is for unaffordable private rental sector flats (156 one bed, 223 two bed and 20 three bed), providing no affordable housing. Neither will the Done's pay for any planning obligations - estimated at £1,932,000, based on Council figures. This despite the planning application report stating "The construction of 399 dwellings with ancillary retail floorspace is likely to result in an increased use of the local highway network, of the public realm and of open space in the local area".

The Dones, whose £950million wealth grew by £50 million last year, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, will avoid these payments because, as usual with every planning application submitted to Salford Council, the scheme would be `unviable' if its developers had to pay them.

This scheme, as even the Council admits, is madness itself because the Dones can't even afford to build it!

"The independent assessment of viability is that unusually the scheme makes a considerable loss and is only considered a viable development by the applicant due to their plan to hold on to the development for a considerable time period" the officers state

"It is noted that the applicant has cited viability arguments in favour of the removal of the Black Horse and yet is content to develop a scheme that, following independent assessment, is shown to be unviable by a significant sum" they add quizzically "...it is considered that the scale of losses is such that a future viability assessment is unwarranted."

So, to repeat, this scheme will trash the Crescent conservation area, bulldoze a listed pub, build almost four hundred unaffordable flats which the developer itself can't afford to build, and give nothing back to the city in terms of planning payments.

Yet planning officers are recommending that councillors give the scheme permission to go ahead at next week's planning panel. Nothing to do with the fact that Salford Council owns part of the land the flats are being built on, of course...

UPDATE: 7th April 2016 - Councillors vote to demolish Black Horse pub - click here

V P Brand wrote
at 17:48:58 on 05 October 2016
Seems a shame. As noted above, the architecture (under the dirt) is on a par with Henry Lord's other work. And here maybe Beryl or someone else can help me. She refer's to Henry Lord's House - 'The Red House'. I owned that house from the late '90s until 2001, buying if off the NHS and saving it from a demolition plan. I knew it was built by a local archictect but NEVER knew is was H Lord. Searched the web for references to his work, including perhaps any about the house - found nothing. Can anyone direct me? Email me at vpbranduk@yahoo.co.uk. Oh - and yes, save the pub!

Jenny Unsworth wrote
at 14:22:17 on 07 April 2016
Where can I find the Change.org petition please.

Tracey wrote
at 09:05:24 on 06 April 2016
please sign the petition change.org please sign the petition on change.org

Salford council worker wrote
at 09:05:17 on 06 April 2016
As a council town hall worker we the staff all know that the organisations which run Salford are not the council but 1. Fred Done who persuaded the Council to spend hundreds of thousands to dredge the lodge which his house overlook 2. Peel , there is insufficient space here to list the dodgy dealings with the council. 3. Countryside properties John Merrys favourite developer!

Tracey wrote
at 10:39:45 on 05 April 2016
I have emailed councillor Murphy regarding this and he has not yet replied so its probably already signed off

Beryl wrote
at 19:22:27 on 04 April 2016
Locally Listed Heritage Assets: from Historic Englandís website "There may be many buildings and sites in a local planning authorityís area that make a positive contribution to its local character and sense of place because of their heritage value. Although such heritage assets may not be nationally designated or even located within the boundaries of a conservation area, they may be offered some level of protection by the local planning authority identifying them on a formally adopted list of local heritage assets. Around half of all local planning authorities have produced lists of locally important buildings and sites (1), although not all of these have adopted the list as part of their development plan. In consequence the significance of any building or site on the list (in its own right and as a contributor to the local planning authorityís wider strategic planning objectives), can be better taken into account in planning applications affecting the building or site or its setting. Whilst local listing provides no additional planning controls, the fact that a building or site is on a local list means that its conservation as a heritage asset is an objective of the NPPF (2) and a material consideration when determining the outcome of a planning application. In deciding any relevant planning permission that affects a locally listed heritage asset or its setting, the NPPF requires amongst other things that local planning authorities should take into account the desirability of sustaining and enhancing the significance of such heritage assets and of putting them to viable uses consistent with their conservation. They are also obliged to consider the positive contribution that conserving such heritage assets can make to sustainable communities including their economic vitality (3). The NPPF contains policies that apply to heritage assets regardless of whether or not they are locally listed. However, local listing provides a sound, consistent and accountable means of identifying local heritage assets to the benefit of good strategic planning for the area and to the benefit of owners and developers wishing to fully understand local development opportunities and constraints. Local listing does not affect the requirements for planning permission. Some buildings can be demolished without planning permission and local listing does not affect that, although an article 4 direction issued by the local planning authority can reinstate the requirement for planning permission for demolition of a locally listed building". Historic England has produced detailed guidance on the best practice in producing local lists of heritage assets (4). References (1) Local Authority Conservation Provision, Institute of Historic Building Conservation, English Heritage, Oxford Brookes University, 2003 (2) Paragraph 17, National Planning Policy Framework, Department for Communities and Local Government, March 2012 (3) Paragraphs 126 and 131, National Planning Policy Framework, Department for Communities and Local Government, March 2012 (4)Good Practice Guide for Local Heritage Listing, English Heritage, 2012

Corrie wrote
at 16:01:26 on 04 April 2016
Yep - its only locally listed. As a Salfordian now resident in Brussels it grieves me to see how our old buildings are deliberately left to rack and ruin and then that used as justification for knocking them down. How can this happen in a Conservation Area? How does this 'preserbve or enhance' its character? The TGWU was hardly heritage but I even miss that when I'm home! Beryl....where did you get your information...designed by Henry Lord in 1879? Fascinating....so even the Council have got it wrong and the developer is merely using that inaccurate information to argue for it demolition.

Cordelia Law wrote
at 14:18:40 on 04 April 2016
What is wrong with this country that we do not value the positive contribution that heritage makes to national and local identity. The mistakes of the 60s and 80s are being ignorantly repeated again and again. Though I don't suppose we can expect cultural sensitivity from someone who has made their fortune exploiting the addictions and misery of other!

pinkpanther wrote
at 10:34:04 on 04 April 2016
Actually, although not listed, the threshold of benefits required for demolition is the same for substantial harm to the conservation area is it would be for loss of a listed building. The council is wring in law if they're taking the developer's word that they are going to proceed with an unviable development - legally they can't accept this.

Josh wrote
at 08:50:02 on 04 April 2016
As usual, great article but everyone missing the point that the Black Horse isn't a listed building. It is locally listed only and so doesn't have the level of protection that a nationally listed building would.

John wrote
at 05:38:27 on 04 April 2016
About time it's a eyesore it smells if you want to keep it well put your hand in your pockets and do it up its been like this for years it's looks terrible stop moaning at least it will create jobs in the area so get rid KNOCK IT DOWN

Tahir Chakotai (Independant Housing Advocate) wrote
at 20:34:01 on 03 April 2016
I cannot believe that the Salford Council are considering knocking down this Grade Listed Building. Despite it's outer appearance, this buildings structure is completely sound. There is absolutely no need to knock this building down. With some investment, this building could be kept standing, and redeveloped / refurbished internally to produce some fantastic character apartments, which would still make an average developer a decent return on their investment. In my opinion, pretty much all of Salford's Grade Listed Buildings are being destroyed, so cheap, minimum standard, over priced apartments can be built. Why can we not be like Liverpool Council. They take a Grade Listed Building, and turn it into characterful apartments, which seem to fetch more money than their glass, brick, and chipboard fabricated counterparts. In my opinion, there are apartment blocks that are just 10 years old in Salford which are experiencing structual and internal problems due to the cheap construction materials, that were used to build them. Old Grade Listed Buildings are built to last, and certainly are more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, than some brick, glass, and chipboard construct. We should as Salford Citizens be putting up more of a fight with our council, to ensure these beautiful buildings, which are part of Salford's heritage, are left standing, in order to preserve what is left of Salford's History. In my opinion, if we allow further cheaply constructed apartments to be built, within 20 years, Salford will be nothing more than a pile of soggy chipboard, piles of bricks and smashed glass. Is this really what the Salford Citizens want to leave for their grandchildren?

Beryl wrote
at 18:30:46 on 02 April 2016
I wrote to Mr Done late last year when the first notice of the development appeared in the press. I have not had a response from him and I have assumed that 'no news is good news' and he was considering my comments regarding the significance of the Black Horse. I pointed out that it is not generally known that the Black Horse was designed by the Salford architect Henry Lord (1843-1926) and dates from 1879. The Black Horse is regrettably Lordís only commercial building to survive to date and was commissioned by James Maycock, the victualler. The rear of the hotel originally included purpose built housing for the licensee and a yard for the drays who entered via an archway from the Crescent, later bricked up. The Black Horse was a prestigious building in its day and was also used as a magistrates court, for public inquiries and political meetings in the purpose built hall on the first floor. Before 1876 the site was occupied by an earlier inn which would probably have dated from late medieval times and was associated with the turnpike and pack roads from Manchester to the North, Eccles and Warrington. Henry Lord was a significant local architect whose buildings include Regent Road library (demolished), the Barracks Estate and Salford Lads Club, the Peel Building (originally the Salford Technical College), the Nursesí Home on the Crescent which now houses the Working Class Movement Library, the Salford Museum and Art Gallery, the nineteenth century extensions to the Salford Royal Hospital on Chapel Street, the Culcheth Cottage Homes built for the poor children of the Salford Union and Seedley and Ordsall Board Schools (both demolished). Henry Lordís house, known as the Red House still exists on Devonshire Road, off Eccles Old Road. The buildings by him that remain are all listed and are regarded by architectural historians with esteem. The Black Horse has many redeeming features, including an imposing and decorative character with its carefully rendered lettering, carved key stones and use of good quality materials and building methods, a feature of Lordís buildings which means that they are still structurally sound. Above all it is the association with Henry Lord, Salfordís architect which makes it a significant survivor. I appealed to Mr Done to include the building in the development as is the case of a former pub on Chapel Street. I still hold out hope that his association with Ordsall and familiarity and support of Salford Lads Club will lead him and his brother to think again.

Michael J Felse wrote
at 14:57:10 on 02 April 2016
Dawn. The easy planning system means expect lots of empty old properties see new builds. I worked in Chapel Street for 6 years when it had a soul. It is now looking like a different place. I am sure it will change even further. If we cannot stop modern new developments we should at least impose 3 times Council Tax on any unoccupied completions. Across Salford it would bring in an astonishing £63million a year. Enough to safeguard other lovely heritage sites and to help expand food banks and help improve children services. Salford needs to be better at business than the private developers.

Dawn wrote
at 06:55:42 on 02 April 2016
Salford council doesn't give a damn about conservation. They let the old town hall in Walkden be demolished (listed building) so the college could build a car Park! They let the Pembroke halls be demolished without insisting that a community hall/facility be built in place of it. The shopping centre built in it's place is deserted and will never be filled. Never mind the 'guided bus route' everyone objected to being pushed through at how many millions to the Salford council tax payers? And now, they are letting Peel Holdings and Fred Done run amok over the area. Just goes to show, money talks!

Gillian Mahon wrote
at 08:29:13 on 01 April 2016
And he calls himself a Salfordian!!!! Why are people like him hell bent on destroying listed buildings etc. Do they want to take away all our heritage? He's a horrible greedy selfish vile little man who should be thoroughly ashamed of himself but he has no shame does he? Hound him out of town I say.

mary ferrer wrote
at 21:51:47 on 31 March 2016
We haven't much left of our heritage in Salford. Why is Salford council allowing the fat cats to get fatter,by allowing people like The Done brothers to take another bit of our heritage away to line their pockets and already fat bank balances.What will we,the people of Salford get??? 106 money?. No brothers Done have been let off with that one. Will we get affordable housing?? No Salford council have let them off with that as well. Will our heritage officer fight to keep this grade 1 listed building?? No we don't have one. We are up the creek yet again without a bloody paddle

chris wrote
at 15:42:58 on 31 March 2016
Greed over Salford Heritage WELL DONE Mr Done who the hell can afford these flats definitely not Salfordians buy to let yet again

chris wrote
at 15:04:13 on 31 March 2016
How dare he! We are supposed to be keeping Salford conservation areas complete already Salford being dismantled piece by piece

Paul Gerrard wrote
at 15:04:08 on 31 March 2016
I thought you must be a day early with this one, Salford Star - but apparently not. Disgrace. Hope it gets rejected next week.

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