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SALFORD CITY MAYOR MISLEADING STATEMENTS ON DEVELOPER CASH
 

Star date: 19th April 2018

AS £5.5MILLION AVOIDED BY DEVELOPERS SALFORD MAYOR SAYS IT'S A 'MYTH'!

In the latest issue of Salford Council's propaganda mag, Life in Salford, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, has denounced the "myth" that "developers don't contribute money to the city. It's simply not true" he says.

Yes, they do contribute some money but they also avoid millions of pounds in payments and provision of affordable housing. Indeed, Salford Star analysis shows that developers avoided almost £5.5million in payments last year, as the Mayor only tells half the truth.

Full details here...


Salford Mayor Planning Statements Salford Mayor Planning Statements
click image to enlarge

As controversy grows on the issue of developers building unaffordable properties, while avoiding fees and the provision of affordable houses, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, has waded in with some half truths about what is going on in the city.

In the latest issue of Salford Council propaganda mag, Life in Salford, the Mayor is quoted as saying "A myth has sprung up that developers don't contribute money to the city. It's simply not true..."

As the Salford Star has constantly shown, it's not what developers do contribute, it's what they don't contribute, avoiding millions of pounds due to national and local planning policies.

In the article, it is stated that "Developers paid £6.5million in Section 106 funds last year, and, in just three months signed agreements which will bring in a further £2million..."*

These payments are based on planning permissions that date back a few years, but analysis of actual applications for the last calendar year show developer agreements to pay £4.5million, while almost £5.5million (£5.494million) was avoided via 'viability' arguments, clawback agreements or Salford Council's own planning policy.

In Ordsall, for instance, an application to build 219 apartments and 13 'duplexes' in Worrall Street should have seen the developer pay £1.54million, based on official figures, but the Council accepted £507,569a loss to the city of almost £650,000, with no 'clawback' agreement in place should the scheme make bigger profits than  anticipated.

On top of this, the developer didn't have to provide any affordable housing. Salford Council's own policies stipulate that for apartment schemes in 'mid value' areas, such as Ordsall, there's no requirement for affordable housing. The developer only had to provide 10% affordable housing as a proportion of the 13 duplexes, which is one property...yet even this was waived due to 'viability' issues (for full details see previous Salford Star article – click here).

This development alone sums up the housing storm around Salford that the Mayor is desperate to quell... "National planning law does allow developers not to pay Section 106 money if they can prove their development would not be financially viable with these contributions" the Mayor states – yet says nothing about Salford Council's own SPD policy that allows developers to avoid provision of fees and affordable homes in large swathes of the city.

Examples are littered throughout last year – at Erie Basin on the Quays, the developer agreed to pay £500,000 (part 'in kind'), when the fee should have been £1.3million, according to Salford Star estimates based on official Council tables...

...In Little Hulton, on the former site of Our Lady The Lancashire Martyrs School, 73 houses should have brought £692,308 in planning fees – but the developer agreed to pay just £35,000, with no 'clawback' agreement. Neither, thanks to Salford Council's own policy, was there any requirement for affordable houses as the site was in a 'low value' area.

The examples go on and on. Yes, developers were due to pay £4.5million in fees - but they also avoided £5.494million, plus the provision of dozens of affordable houses.

Indeed, Salford Council has almost admitted its own planning policies have failed miserably, as there was a review which closed earlier this month (see here).

While the Mayor talks about 'myths' of developers not contributing money to the city, he would be better concentrating on the money and affordable houses they don't contribute.

Spinning that the community is benefitting "from Salford's building boom", giving only half the story, is politicking of the worst kind on the eve of the local elections...


* Developers did pay £6.532million last year but only £1.763million has actually been spent in the city so far.

Previous years show really poor rates of returns from developers when many of the big planning applications were passed...  
  

2015 – 2016: Collected £1,546,108 spent £788,777
2014 – 2015: Collected £1,499,292 spent £909,267
2013 – 2014: Collected £810,916 spent £1,428,476
2012 – 2013: Collected £1,343,803 spent £1,529,064
2011 – 2012: Collected £1,644,629 spent £1,496,159
2010 – 2011: Collected £661,507 spent £577,442
2009 – 2010: Collected £471,924 spent £1,087,748

The Salford Star has calculated that the city has lost over £50million in planning fees and thousands of affordable houses, due to developer avoidance; down to both national Government planning policy and Salford Council's own planning policies (see here).

Philip Giuseppe Rossi, The Broadwalk ... wrote
at 12:51:20 on 23 April 2018
Look, personally I don't believe that Mayor Dennett has mislead anybody over anything, certainly not over property developers not paying fees. For my opinion, the Mayor, is a man of integrity. He's a good man doing his best with the limited resources that are on offer. His job is a tough one. One that most people would not want. Not unless they were some of the Walter Mitty fringe lunatic types that often contribute their "chip shop" anecdotes on here. The truth be told, and tell it I will ... I , philip Giuseppe Rossi see shades of General Vlasov in Paul. General Vlasov, if my memory serves me correctly, was a Soviet General in command of the Third Shock Army during The Great Patriotic War. Andrei was a good man, caught between a rock and a hard place. Deserted behind enemy lines by the rest of the Soviet army, and with help not on the way, he and his soldiers turned renegade and switched sides. Later on, he and his troops turned on the German Army and went completely rogue, becoming hated enemies to both sides ... Towards the end of WW2 General Vlasov attempted to surrender to the Americans, who, rather typically, handed him over to Stalin's NKVD. This, tragically, was the end for Andrei Vlasov, a decent and honourable man, who, through no fault of his own was caught between a rock and a hard place. As I said earlier, I see shades of the heroic but ultimately doomed General Vlasov in our beloved leader, Mayor Dennett. I say this because he appears to be damned on here, by the mob, and by the catalysts for this unfair and reprehensible criticisms of what ever he does, the people at the salford Star. To me it just seems that Paul Dennett is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Yet none of you. None of you stone throwing critics would be able to perform the job that he does. Let's get real here, He's the Admiral of the Good Ship Salford. He's running a City. With limited resources. And he's doing it well. He's not writing a couple of sniping articles a week, or banging on impotently about what he would do if he was Mayor. He's doing it! And like the noble Red Army General Vlasov, he's between a rock and a hard place, as he ducks and dives, rolls with the punches and bobs and weaves, in his efforts to make Salford a better place. Trust me, twenty years from now Salford will be unrecognisable, and no longer will the name of Salford be synonymous with failiure, and crime, and poverty, and teenage pregnancies, and disappointing exam results, and all of the other things Salford has a reputation for. No, Salford will be better; will be more prosperous, and this ... this will be down to the decisive and thoughtful, but understated leadership of Mayor Dennett, and his team... Roll on the third of May. Viva Salford Labour!
 
Rayofsunshine wrote
at 12:50:24 on 23 April 2018
Phil,don't let Mary Ferrer get to you. After all she's spent nearly thirty years as a sel f appointed busybody - achieving sweet f.a!
 
Cody wrote
at 14:34:36 on 22 April 2018
Is it possible the Star could get a hold of the facts and figures of how many times the Council has challenged developers (if at all) over avoidance of fees? If the Council isn't forthcoming with the details then maybe the Secretary of State will have a record of appeals by developers against Salford Council?
 
Retired Socailst wrote
at 14:34:08 on 22 April 2018
Sorry if my little piece is slightly off, it's with me pissing my self reading Mr Dennett's love child complaining of bullying. The star to me is a journal that seeks the facts and allows people to comment and to be honest reading Mr Rossi i worry, he slags off anything that offers Labour criticism was he affected as a child in some way, that he feels so much anger to ADULT politicos on the site? the people need choice that's way some of our contributors stand for election i wonder why Mr Rossi never puts his head above the parapet. Spineless perhaps
 
Mary ferrer wrote
at 22:40:51 on 20 April 2018
Phil,I am allowed to comment on things that happen in my city.Why can't these facts and figures be public. If no one has anything to hide.Dave it's people like you who allow this council walk all over the people of Salford. If you can't or won't vote,don't moan.am I bothered you wouldn't vote for me.I couldn't care less.I stand because I care. Over the last 30 plus years I have been a community activities. What have you done ?????
 
Philip Giuseppe Rossi, The Broadwalk ... wrote
at 22:40:41 on 20 April 2018
Oriflamme Raised, I don't know where you get off on bullying me like this. Personally I think that it is pretty despicable of you. Both despicable and cowardly in equal measure. And what's with the jibe about the Electoral Register? You know that my name is Philip Giuseppe Rossi, and that I live in a Salix Homes High rise on the Broadwalk. I've been honest about that, but it sounds to me like you've been checking out the Electoral Register and have wrongly concluded that I'm not on it. I find that both creepy and stalkerish. And that is why I am on the hidden electoral register. Anyway, Knight's red standard raised, I will neither be bullied by you, nor talked down to by you. Maybe you should use your real name, as I do when commenting on here, rather than that pretentious and effete nom de guerre of yours.
 
Felsey wrote
at 22:39:41 on 20 April 2018
I agree with Oliframe that we need to take a close look at Labour activists. This is why I appeal to not vote Labour this May to show we can give Salford better voices and a real hope for the future.
 
Bob wrote
at 12:44:59 on 20 April 2018
Paul Dennett, is a politician, lets be honest here, you cannot expect him to tell the truth. All politicians never ever tell the truth.
 
Arnold Rimmer wrote
at 12:44:54 on 20 April 2018
I agree with the Star on this one, although it can be difficult for a council to win a bluff against a developer who says they won't bother developing if they have to pay the full fees as if the council call their bluff, they may not get anything. Little Hulton, for example, needs massive development and putting that at risk over fees may not be worth knowing a development will go ahead. All the developers are scum though.
 
Salford Star wrote
at 12:44:36 on 20 April 2018
See Dave Green's comment below - the £50m figure is not 'dubious' in the slightest. in print issue 10 we had a massive article breaking down each development that led to £19m in avoided fees, then we updated the figure up to £42.5m (there is a link in this article if you can be bothered clicking, and, since then there's been well over £8million avoided - £5.5m last year alone). The Salford Star planning fee figures were also confirmed and echoed by Sheffield University led research recently. Our figures are not 'dubious' or 'poor journalism'. Every developer fee avoidance has been documented on this website in intimate detail.
 
Dave green wrote
at 12:34:52 on 20 April 2018
Where are the figures this is based on. How does the star calculate £50million? Either the Star is only reporting half the story as the £50million figure is dubious or it's poor journalism. I don't vote for any party in Salford but I really wouldn't vote for Mary Ferrer. Thank God she isn't standing for election in my ward.
 
Oriflamme Raised wrote
at 12:34:33 on 20 April 2018
Well, Phil, further to a comment made by Salford Star Editorial Staff recently and your week’s ban from contributions, it appears that you just do not learn. Reasoned arguments put forward by contributors are far more interesting and informative than your childish rants aimed at those who do not share your points of view or those who are critical of your venerated & adored Mayor Dennett, who, believe it or not, is not universally loved by all Labour voters, but they vote for him out of Party loyalty. Such ill-informed cyberbullying diatribes from you far from contributing to articles may actually prevent contributors from writing in for fear of being attacked; indeed I have refrained from making my views public about your contributions until now, but still feel the need to use a nom de plume. The votes cast by the Electorate on Polling Day are the views that really count, and that is the only vote you have – providing of course you are on the Electoral Register and are able to vote! At the risk of being decried as an hypocrite in respect of personal attacks, I would say to you, Phil, when you have done your Level 1 Introduction to Politics course and your political testicles have descended, don’t bother wasting your time exercising your aggressive keyboard warrior skills on this Column, swerving political argument to personal diatribe thus sidestepping the issues aired. Salford Star is a forum for informed debate by adult contributors, not a place for your over-emotional angry infantile and puerile outbursts and sycophantic syrupy pieces which would be cringe-worthy even for a well-known social media network! Incidentally, similar sentiments apply to others too, and you know who you are! The subject is: “SALFORD CITY MAYOR MISLEADING STATEMENTS ON DEVELOPER CASH”.. Now, let’s discuss it like adults.....
 
Phil wrote
at 05:48:10 on 20 April 2018
Look Mary, just leave local Government to those who know it best ... Calibre Men like Mayor Dennett, God bless him.
 
Mary ferrer wrote
at 05:47:56 on 20 April 2018
Sorry forgot to put my name to the Wrote questions. I would also like a breakdown as to where the money received has gone. What project or inferstructior within the city.
 
Mary ferrer wrote
at 16:21:04 on 19 April 2018
Give us a breakdown on what fees have been paid in the last 3 years. And from which development. Also a breakdown on how many affordable properties were built with each development. Don't think that's too much to ask.
 
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