This morning, dozens of residents living around Campbell Road in Swinton staged a protest outside the gates of the Bellway Homes development which is set to build 241 houses on green space land, having got planning permission from Salford City Council.
Bellway has already started chopping large amounts of trees down at the site, while massive HGVs have already caused problems on the small, single access to the site on a quiet residential road...
"Anybody with one ounce of intelligence would know this was a ridiculous idea with this one single access" Carol Boyce, Chair of the Saving Our Neighbourhood group, told the campaigners "The HGVs have already had an accident and banged into a car down Folly Lane yesterday.
"Although we've lost this particular planning application, what we can do now is come together and mitigate this build" she added "We need to be a thorn in their side, to make sure that they obey every single dotted I and crossed T. There's a generator twenty metres from someone's house running 24/7...by a group which sent out letters saying it would be very careful not to cause too much noise or inconvenience to local residents..."
Carol was keen to stress that the fight is not just about Campbell Road but about all inappropriate development in Salford.
"Salford Council has no plan at all" she explained "All it does is develop every single bit of green space no matter how small or big. So, if Salford Council keeps approving all these ridiculous developments we won't be able to get out of our own road; it's bad enough now... congestion, pollution, infrastructure...
"As well as this development, we have to put pressure on Salford Council" she added "It's not about party politics but about the fact that they are elected officials and they work for us. That's what we mustn't forget. And a politician is only as good as the next election. We're building a movement. It's not just about us, it's about a Salford wide movement...Let's not think we can't do anything – people power changes the world!"
None of the three local councillors were present, citing their attendance at the Council's 'Big Day Out' at Salford Civic Centre a couple of miles away, but loads of local children were present who had loads to say.
Jess, age 9, has been outside the Bellway site gates virtually every night after school with her friend, collecting signatures to Save The Park. And the workmen haven't been very appreciative...
"One of the men wanted me to go to him but I ran away because of stranger danger and then he tore our sign down" she recalled "I think they shouldn't get rid of the park because it's nice for animals and teenagers hang out here. Cutting trees down is horrid because we're running out of oxygen..."
Ciara and Emilia were also horrified back in July when Salford Council ripped up their play area adjacent to the site... "I was sad, angry and frustrated" said Ciara, while Emilia said she just "went very quiet and couldn't speak".
Mum, Janine McDonald, explained that the Council did the dirty deed just three days after it had helped out with a litter pick around the play area...
"The Council provided the leaflets, litter pickers and gloves, and publicised it on their website" she recalled "We had a good turnout of people, and the girls wanted to make the play area nice for the summer. Three days later half of it had disappeared.
"Ciara wrote to the Council and the response came back; 'health and safety' but it had only been up eight years, and they left it in a worse condition than it was, with all jagged bits sticking out" she added "They said that it will be replaced but not until people are living in the houses to be built for the Bellway development, which is four or five years away. The children are so upset..."
After the protest at the Bellway site gates, there was march around the estate, followed by a protest at the side of the nearby East Lancs Road, as drivers beeped their horns in support.
This is the first of many promised actions by Saving Our Neighbourhood. Watch this space...
For a full background see previous Salford Star articles...
Salford Residents To Protest Against Salford Council and Bellway Homes – click here
Salford Community Groups Unite Against Rampant Development – click here
Manchester University Report Slams Neglect of Civilised Life In Greater Manchester – click here