Salix Homes finally got approval this morning to build an eleven storey block of 108 apartments in the grounds of Canon Green Court and Westminster House near Blackfriars Road.
The apartments, called 'Blackfriars', would be aimed at 'young professionals' paying 80% of market rent for two years, with an option to buy after five years. Salix wanted to build the block to finance bringing social rent homes in the old blocks up to the decent homes standard, which it argued it couldn't afford to do without this new development within their grounds.*
This was the third time the controversial scheme had come to Salford Council's planning panel, having been rejected and deferred previously; last time on the grounds of a lack of connectivity between the new block and the existing blocks and "the loss of 26 mature trees".
This latest application re-jigged the development to improve connectivity and amenity access for residents of the old blocks but also added the removal of a further eleven mature category B London Planes and Lime trees – what one written objection called "an environmental outrage". Salix added another twenty trees to the scheme to compensate. The planning panel passed the plans unanimously.
Earlier at the panel meeting, there was the usual hand-wringing from councillors about the lack of social housing in the Quays/Ordsall area, as plans were discussed for the building of a block of 24 unaffordable apartments on the site of the old Broadway Inn.
Councillor John Warmisham complained about the "over influence of apartments" in the area..."Ordsall families need somewhere to live" he said, before adding that the block was an "eyesore" that "looks like a multi-storey car park".
A local resident also objected, arguing that the development was too big and would create a huge parking problem around Isaac Close "clogging up streets that are already clogged up", as there was no parking proposed on the actual site. A rep from Indigo planning, on behalf of the developer, Liquid Property, countered that prospective residents would be informed that there was a 'zero parking agreement' in place.
Despite reservations about parking, the materials being used to front the block and the lack of social housing in the development, only Councillor Warmisham voted against it, with Councillor Derek Antrobus stating rather weakly that "If we turned it down, it would only be approved on appeal"...
For a full background on the Salix Canon Green blocks see previous Salford Star articles – click here click here click here and click here
Main photo shows Canon Green Court