The planning scandal in Salford continues with Council officers recommending approval at tomorrow's meeting of the Planning Panel for Countryside Properties' application to build 123 properties – 63 three and four bedroom houses and sixty apartments in three and four storey blocks - near Holyoake Road in Walkden.
As usual, the planning officers state in their report that "Given the scale of the
development an assessment of its impact on transport infrastructure, public realm and open space is required" and that "The construction of 123 dwellings is likely to result in an increased use of the local highway network, local public transport infrastructure, of the public realm and of open space in the local area".
Also, as usual, Countryside has submitted a `viability appraisal' to the Council's surveyors, stating that its profits won't be high enough if it has to pay the full contributions.
The Salford Star has estimated the cost of these full contributions, based on official Salford City Council figures, as £878,262. Countryside should also be providing 10%, or six affordable houses, within the scheme. However, the Council's surveyors have agreed that Countryside need only pay £100,000, which won't be going to help finance school places or open space, but will be spent on improvements to Walkden Station.
Normally Salford City Council cops out by adding a `clawback' clause into planning permission whereby, in some distant future, if the scheme is hugely profitable, the Council gets some money back – but even this has been waived for the Walkden scheme.
Meanwhile, objections to the plans have been lodged by 22 local residents, citing everything from intrusion of privacy, to traffic issues, to over development and lack of school and doctors' places. Local councillors, Critchley and Lindley, are also objecting on similar grounds, adding the lack of planning obligations too. Local MP Barbara Keeley is also objecting.
The scheme will be discussed at the Planning Panel of Salford Council tomorrow with a recommendation from officer for councillors to approve the application.
See also previous Salford Star article – Salford planning scandal reaches of £42 million – click here
*UPDATE: 15th September
The planning application was `deferred' at the panel for more information on the design of the apartments