Yesterday, apparently in response to the previous day's Salford Star article, detailing that just 16 affordable houses had been secured from Section 106 payments during 2017-18*, Salford Council issued a press release boasting about the £millions received from developers via Section 106 during the period...
The release stated that developers had paid £3.2million in Section 106 contributions during the last financial year, while Councillor Derek Antrobus, Lead Member for Planning and Sustainable Development boasted that "In addition to this, we signed 21 agreements to bring in a further £3.3million when developments are complete and viable."
The release is based on the Section 106 End of Year Report, a twenty page document that lists all of the developments covered and amounts paid.
Of the 21 agreements signed by developers, while £3.3million might well be brought in, an analysis of just five of the schemes shows that over £5.1million has also been avoided.
We compared the amounts quoted on the list to figures cited in Salford Star articles at the time of planning meetings for the biggest developments...
Furness Quay, Ordsall, 593 apartments/townhouses: Agreed: £1million. Star figures: Agreed at the time to pay £1.1million but should be paying £2,990,752. Avoided: £1.99million (Council states that a 'further viability report required')
Gore Street, Ordsall, 364 apartments: Agreed: £700,000. Star figures: Should be paying £1,811,362. Avoided: £1,111,362.
Embankment West, Ordsall, 694 PRS apartments: Agreed: £1,125,000. Star figures: Should be paying £2,938,506. Avoided: £1,813,506 (Council states that a 'further viability appraisal required').
Irwell House, Frederick Road, 76 student flats: Agreed: £40,000. Star figures: Should be paying £367,102. Avoided: £327,102.
Former Skills Centre, Liverpool Street, 178 flats, 13 townhouses. Agreed: 0. Star figures: Should be paying £988,364 . Avoided: £988,364 (Council states that a "further viability appraisal required")
On these five schemes alone, there's £5,130,334million avoided or awaiting further viability assessments.
Also on the list are all the English Cities Fund (ECf) developments of unaffordable housing on Chapel Street, which the Council report states has brought nothing in via Section 106 payments, as all these properties were taken out from the umbrella of Section 106 and, instead, subject to a separate and secret Development Account.
The Salford Council press release also boasts that, of the £3.2million actually received from developers during 2017-18, "just over £1 million of that money came from clawback agreements". And, again Councillor Antrobus was gloating that "Salford has one of the best track records in Greater Manchester for attracting S106 money and this demonstrates the success of our clawback policy."
What Councillor Antrobus doesn't say, is that the 'clawback' came from just two developments (£563,269 from City Suites and £505,516.84 from Wilburn Street Basin), out of dozens that received planning permission with reduced Section 106 contributions.
* See previous Salford Star article: Salford Council Section 106 Delivers Only 16 Affordable Houses in 2017-18 – click here