A planning application by Bellway Homes to build 241 houses on the Campbell Road Playing Fields in Swinton will be discussed by councillors next week with 339 objections having been lodged with Salford City Council.
The 16.91hectare site, partly on a former sewage works which was demolished in the 1990s, has no formal protection but the Council acknowledges that its Green Space Strategy "identifies the potential of the site and adjoining Council owned land to meet shortfalls of open space provision in terms of strategic natural green space and other recreation standards".
It also notes that, while part of the site "falls within the definition of previously developed land...it is recognised that a large part of the site is not previously developed". The report to be seen by councillors also states that "The site is of local value because it supports semi-natural green space close to a large urban population, providing something of a refuge for local wildlife...
"Locally important habitats on the site include blocks of broadleaved woodland and scattered trees and scrub" it adds "Birds recorded on the site include song thrush, mistle thrush, bullfinch, grasshopper warbler, house sparrow, dunnock, and reed bunting, all species of conservation concern."
Bellway Homes, is proposing to create a 'community park' on the site – but this hasn't stopped objections, which range from "Loss of only area for children and adults to walk and play away from traffic", to "This site is the only green lung we have and its development should be rejected", to "The area already has a community park so the new park would add nothing new and only takes away high quality open space"..."The community park is an offensive attempt to have the houses pushed through..."
Pressure on local public services, like doctors, dentists and oversubscribed schools, were the basis of other objections, while potential traffic problems were also cited by many local residents...
"There is insufficient infrastructure to cope with the volume of traffic that will be created by the development"..."The estate is already used for rat running – with the pressure of additional cars this could cause chaos"..."The preliminary traffic assessment carried out by Bellway was during school holidays which gives an underestimation of the negative impact on traffic any development would have on the road and surrounding streets...."
While there were 339 objections, there were a mere 18 letters of support for the development.
Of the 241 properties being proposed, only twenty will be set aside for social rent, while 19 will be for the more expensive 'affordable rent' (80% of market rent) and 13 for 'shared ownership'. The other 189 properties will all be sold at market rates.
Meanwhile, the Council report states that Bellway will pay the full Section 106 planning obligations of £2,609,168, which will go towards Beechfield allotments and playing fields, Campbell Road Playing Area, improvements to the loopline from Monton Road to Campbell Road and Swinton Centre, and finance either for extending existing schools or towards a new primary school.
From this and previous applications, it appears that the only time the Council gets full planning fees is when it's horse trading Green Belt, Greenfield or Green Space land...
Councillors will consider the application at the Council planning meeting next Thursday 15th March.
Update: 15th March - The decision was deferred pending a site visit