Bellway Walkden May 2019

Bellway launches appeal over refused Hilton Lane housing

Charlie Schouten

After its plans to build 209 homes in Walkden were refused by Salford Council last month, the housebuilder has wasted no time in resubmitting an application for the 16-acre plot off Hilton Lane, while simultaneously submitting an appeal against the refusal.

Salford Council’s planning committee went against officer recommendation to refuse the application in July, primarily over traffic concerns.

The committee said the proposed development of the site would “increase traffic at the already over-capacity mini-roundabout at the junction of Hilton Lane and Newearth Road,” and added  “users of this junction would be severely inconvenienced by reason of increased queuing and delay” if the site was built out as planned.

Planning officers had argued the access to the site was “acceptable” and added the proposals would provide the necessary amount of affordable housing.

The 16-acre plot, which was bought by Bellway from the council around four years ago, was formerly used as rugby and football pitches by St George’s High School in the 1980s and 1990s. It is allocated for around 200 homes in Salford’s Local Plan, and neighbours another plot where Peel, Redrow, and Bloor are delivering 350 houses.

Working with planning consultant WSP | Indigo, Bellway has resubmitted its planning application in an attempt to “re-open a positive dialogue” with the council and its members; according to the housebuilder, this would allow the council and Bellway to “work positively and proactively” together “rather than result in a costly appeal and further delays to sustainable development”.

At the same time, an appeal has been put forward to be heard at public inquiry, while also submitting an application for award of costs against the council, which Bellway claimed has “acted unreasonably in refusing the application without evidence and against the advice of officers”.

The updated planning application includes a series of amendments designed to placate the council. These include the creation of landscape buffer to serve as a wildlife corridor along the southern and eastern boundaries of the site.

There have also been landscaping changes across the site to ensure the development is considered acceptable in terms of its impact on biodiversity; changes to design, layout, and orientation of plots around the development boundary; and alterations to the internal road layout.

Bellway is also proposing future-proofing each of the homes with a private driveway by building in the infrastructure to allow electric vehicle charging points to be installed, and also the introduction of off-site traffic calming measures in an attempt to address concerns of the site’s impact on traffic.

Bellway added it would be “willing to renegotiate” its previous Section 106 agreement; the original agreement featured a £581,000 contribution to education; public realm, open space, and sports pitch contributions of £150,000, £253,000, and £170,500 respectively; and £275,800 towards funding a shuttle bus service to the development.

Salford City Council has not yet set a date to reconsider the application.

Your Comments

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I’m confused, which of those amendments deal with the issue of the over-capacity mini-roundabout?!

By Ermmmmm

It’s not just the traffic congestion in the immediate area, it’s the knock on effect onto the motorway feeder roads which are over subscribed now with further properties being built within the area.

By Christopher Birbeck

This proposed site has a real challenge in terms of access from Hilton Lane, the road is at capacity and there is no other way to access the proposed site. In addition to this the road network as cited is over subscribed. Rather than encourage development wherever the city council need to work with developers to identify those sites which are sustainable, hence the concerns locally over this development.

By Bob

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