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SALFORD PLANNING COUNCILLORS DEFER SALIX HOMES CANON GREEN BLOCK TARGETED AT YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
 

Star date: 7th June 2018

'MULTIPLE QUESTIONS UNANSWERED'

Salix Homes was battered from all sides this morning as councillors on Salford City Council's planning panel deferred its application to erect an 11 storey block at Canon Green Court. Tenants and representatives of the Stay Inn hotel objected, together with councillors.

While all planning fees were to be quashed with the apartments stated to be 'affordable housing', a presentation to councillors clearly showed that they were aimed at 'young professionals' rather than local families.

Full details here...


For many, many reasons, the 11 storey block of 108 apartments that social housing company Salix Homes wants to erect in the grounds of Canon Green Court and Westminster House is controversial.

Today, most of these controversies were aired at the planning meeting of Salford Council, before councillors deferred any decision pending further information.

Councillor Peter Wheeler stroked the elephant in the Council's room – namely that Salix Homes won a vote to transfer Council housing stock to itself with the promise that it would bring all its properties up to a decent standard, including the damp infested Canon Green Court.

Just a few years later, Salix is stating that it can't afford to refurbish these flats unless it can build this huge add-on block to raise finance... "There was no mention of that when the vote was taking place" said an incredulous Councillor Wheeler.

A tenant of Canon Green, Neil Mucklow, raised concerns about the consultation process saying there were "multiple questions not answered", including the affect on infrastructure, changes to the plans which saw the height of the block raised from nine to eleven storeys, and guarantees that existing tenants' services wouldn't be impacted by the build...

"People want transparency" he said, adding that they also wanted "more meaningful consultations".

In response, Phil Summers, from Salix, explained that there would be "Further Q and A sessions with residents" and stressed that there would be "108 affordable units which would address people getting onto the housing ladder".

However, the definition of these 'affordable units' was stretched to the max, as a huge screened presentation behind him showed that the 'affordable units' were not for local families..."Target market – young professionals" it stated.

Indeed, the flats were all one and two bedroom apartments, a point stressed by panel chair, Councillor Ray Mashiter... "There's no three bedroom homes" he said.

The apartments would be available at 80% of market rent for two years and tenants could buy them in year five. For this, Salix escaped tens of thousands of pounds in Section 106 payments for things like public realm, open space and transport infrastructure which, the company argued, would make the scheme 'unviable'...

"...It is recognised that the applicant has demonstrated that in not providing contributions towards open space and public realm improvements that are able to deliver a development that comprises entirely of affordable housing, that exceeds the affordable housing requirements for apartment schemes in this part of the City by 100%" stated the planning officer's report.

Other objections included that there were only nine parking spaces for over one hundred properties, while Dan Murphy, representing the nearby Stay Inn hotel, raised the issue of the impact on the neighbourhood which would be to the "detriment of the street scene" and his own company's plans to improve pedestrian connectivity.

Councillor Mashiter also questioned the impact of the scheme on residents' amenities and the current green space. He moved that the decision be deferred as "I don't have enough information to make a decision". This was carried unanimously as it looks like Salix is having to go back to the drawing board...

For a full background see previous Salford Star article – click here.

At the same meeting, councillors kicked off about Section 106 payments, so-called 'clawback' arrangements and lack of affordable housing on two other applications – but were told that they were there to apply Council policy not to question it! Full report to follow...



Bob the regular wrote
at 17:58:40 on 08 June 2018
I think you have all got it wrong on this one. Mr Summers slipped up by putting that phrase young professionals. He should have put young local first time buyers.Sounds better. Perhaps Cllr Mashiter and the Star were, wrong for implying that local people cannot be young professionals.I know working class Salford people whose kids, through their own wit and brains, despite a crap Salford education, have become young professionals working in Manchester city centre. Where should they live? Salford will fast become like Tower Hamlets in London, with only 2 sorts of people, the quite rich and the very poor. There again,thats the sort of place our council seem to desire, with all the indiginous working class moved out.
 
Former resident wrote
at 17:56:48 on 08 June 2018
Are Salix and the council having a bit of a lovers tiff about something? Rest assured ,this development will go ahead. The local councilors will come the "tried their best sketch", "we were overuled by the majority" ect. This scheme will prove,or should prove what Salix and the council are like. Do not do what you are told by them. Do what they do on the block where the mayor lives. On that block the people get what they want. Go and ask them. Go and knock on the mayors door and ask him. "my hands are tied "he will say. The planners hands are tied. All their hands are tied to a noose round peoples necks.
 
Philip Giuseppe Rossi, The Broadwalk ... wrote
at 23:09:50 on 07 June 2018
Let's hope that Salix do have to go back to the drawing board. I hate those devious Salix Bastards.
 
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