For over ten years the Salford Star has, with the original community, been dissecting the regeneration of Lower Broughton, concluding every time that the massive scheme, handed over by Salford City Council to private developer, Countryside Properties, was about social cleansing.
Now, Countryside has submitted a planning application for the final phase of the regeneration that was originally outlined, and housing statistics have been included that show, that, after completion, there will have been only 17.3% affordable houses built in Lower Broughton, and only 20% affordable apartments, compared to almost 100% affordable properties before the bulldozing of the area began.
Of the 1,721 properties erected, 510 are 'market price' houses, 298 'affordable' houses, 569 'market' apartments and 344 'affordable' apartments. Nowhere do the statistics state what proportion of the 'affordable' properties are classed as social rent, as opposed to the more expensive 'affordable' rent.
As in previous planning applications, Countryside admits that "It was a key aspiration of the Development Agreement to significantly reduce the proportion of affordable housing..."
The developer also boasts that the new make-up of the area "is significantly better than the tenure split which existed at the start of the regeneration process", adding that its new scheme for 299 private market rent apartments "will help achieve that aspiration"...
The latest 'Phase 5' application is for six blocks, five storeys high, on either side of the Church of the Ascension near Clarence Street in Lower Broughton. In line with the ethics of the regeneration, there will be no affordable housing – and neither is Countryside proposing any Section 106 monies, thanks to Salford City Council's shameful planning policy.
In its planning statement now lodged with the Council, the developer states that "The site is identified as lying entirely within the Low/Mid Residential Value Area. Within this area Table 2.6 indicates that apartment schemes have no requirement for affordable housing..."
Meanwhile, Public Open Space planning contributions are normally set at £1,039 per bed space and, with this scheme having a total of 797 bed spaces, Countryside should be paying £828,083; but is proposing to pay nothing... as it "made provision for a significant amount of open space in the form of Green Grosvenor Park" during previous phases of the redevelopment.
After the 2015 Boxing Day Flood, some residents in the area questioned whether the new housing in the area contributed to the flooding of the social rent properties. This new development is smack in the middle of the Flood Zone 3 area.
Countryside states that "Flood depths and flow routes will not be significantly affected as a result of the development" but adds that there will be "Implementation of awareness raising and emergency planning measures". The Flood Risk Assessment "concludes that the proposed development incorporates appropriate mitigation to address the risks arising from flooding and will not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere..."
While this development is the final phase that had outline planning permission, nowhere in the application does it state the destiny of Spike Island, which was originally earmarked for demolition to make way for bistros and duck ponds...
See also previous related Salford Star articles...
Salford Council To Waive £1.5million in Planning Fees for Countryside Properties – click here
A Tour Through Salford Council Spin On Affordable Housing – click here