Irlam Council Offices
The site has been marketed for sale since 2013. Image from Google.

Irlam council offices to be redeveloped

Charlie Schouten

The site of Irlam’s former council offices is to be redeveloped into affordable housing with Salford City Council due to sign off the disposal of the plot this week.

The two-acre plot on Astley Road has been marketed for sale by the city council since 2013, after council services relocated to Irlam and Cadishead College. However, the sale has not progressed due to a number of issues, including poor ground conditions, and its listing as an Asset of Community Value.

Estimates suggested the land would cost around £500,000 to remediate given its ground conditions. Housing association ForViva had previously attempted to redevelop the site for extra care use after approaching the council in 2017, but negotiations between the two parties broke down.

Formerly home to council offices, the site was cleared in 2017 due to the poor condition of buildings on the plot and issues with anti-social behaviour.  The plot’s listing as an Asset of Community Value has also now expired.

Working with Great Places Housing Group, Seddon is now primed to redevelop the site with a deal to be signed off by the council later this week.

Seddon is proposing to build a 27-home scheme, all of which will be for affordable tenures split between affordable rent and shared ownership. Seddon had also explored developing the site for extra care use but this was found to be unviable.

To address issues with ground conditions, the development will be supported by £342,000 from the Government’s Land Reclamation Fund. Seddon will be taking a 250-year lease on the site from the council at a cost of £690,000; the council will have an option to acquire a minimum of five of the affordable units.

The disposal of the land is due to be signed off by the council on 27 June.

Duncan Williams, regional director at Seddon, said: “This scheme will be the fourth we’re delivering across Greater Manchester for our partner, Great Places Housing Group. We’re currently on-site at Duchy Road and Old Lane in Salford, and Melland Road in Gorton. These developments will see 286 affordable homes being built in total. With this Astley Road development, we’re thrilled to add a further 27 affordable homes to this strong pipeline.

“Throughout the construction of these schemes, we’re working closely with Great Places and the local authority to maximise social value. We achieve this through the use of local suppliers, as well as providing work experience and apprenticeship opportunities for local people.”

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This area is vastly populated and the only place to park for visitors to the Mosslands medical centre is where the planned housing is. Question: Where do you intend to give parking spaces to the many many cars using the immediate area for St. Thereas school, Irlam academy AND the 2 doctors surgeries. There is already a very large parking problem on McDonald road and on Astley road..sort that out before granting planning permission! Again one finds those in charge DO NOT KNOW THE AREA and its traffic problems. Get out from behind the desks and spend a couple of days observing the problems. DEFER THE PLANNING PERMISSION AND DO SOME PROPER RESEARCH OF THIS AREA.

By Dorothy Jones

What planning permission? Has an application even been submitted?

By Anonymous

Im sure that they will be asked to submit traffic assessments as part of the planning process. I think that’s fairly standard these days but im no expert. The question is probably whats more important in the area. Is it building family homes that people can afford to live in and creating jobs and apprenticeships, or worrying about where people can park? Should we not be looking at other forms of transport regardless

By Anonymous

There’s plenty of parking in the College grounds. Presumably this proposed affordable housing will be tenanted by people who can also afford to have cars (subsidised rent/purchase schemes?). Many patients to the GP surgeries nearby will have mobility issues and will require parking provision. If the site is in need of remediation, the Environment Pollution Act, it is Salford Council’s responsibility to rectify before selling.

By O'Keefe

I think it’s positive Salford Council have battled on to get anything built on the site by the sounds of it!. Most others would have sold it off for more over priced homes that don’t help the people in Salford who need it the most

By Anonymous

Deeply disturbing project that offers little for the community in terms of existing social housing needs , with external demands being placed on the community, Urban vision don’t appear to be maintaining Astley Road beyond the health centre which is slowing collapsing

By Tobias

No planning notices have gone up on Astley Road and residents have been given no opportunity to oppose this. Is that even legal?

By Suzanne Hart

Yes, the site has been very handy as a parking spot and relieving traffic conjestion around the Medical Centre. I can see that because I’ve enjoyed an open aspect over the last couple of years since the demolition, as my house overlooks the area. All good things come to an end, they say, and I suppose it will be a case of “suck it and see” as far as traffic goes.
I was wondering, though, about the perimeter boundary as my back garden backs on to that land. Like some of my neighbours I have replaced fence panels, one having been damaged by an Alder left to grow against it, but originally I believe the council provided that boundary fence: one neighbour had panels replaced whilst the offices were still occupied. I had been advised to check with my deeds but the Halifax seemed reluctant to part with them telling me they were viewable on line. They were but at a cost so I directed my efforts at doing the job myself.

By Steve Lovell