Peel Investments has said that Secretary of State James Brokenshire’s decision to dismiss appeals against the refusal of two residential schemes in Salford was “unlawful and should be quashed”.
Last month Brokenshire came down on the side of Salford City Council on a long-running dispute over whether Peel should be allowed to build homes on a greenfield site in Broadoak, Worsley.
The first appeal covered an application for 600 dwellings and marina facilities at Broadoak, refused in 2013, and a second application for 165 homes in the same area, refused in 2017. The plot is a mixture of woods and open meadows which stretches from Monton Green to Worsley Road. In defending against the proposals, the council has described it as a “vital green lung,” that would be fragmented by development.
Since 2013, Peel and Salford City Council have gone through a cycle of refusal, appeal and inquiry over the council’s decision to block the developer’s proposals.
Having made it to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government, Brokenshire ruled last month that both of Peel’s appeals should be dismissed. Peel had six weeks to appeal his decision.
In a statement issued today, Peel said: “Peel Investments (North) Limited will bring a claim for a statutory review of the decision by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government to dismiss two appeals for new homes at Broadoak in Salford, Greater Manchester.
“The central question will be whether the Secretary of State correctly interpreted national policy, particularly in respect of housing and the presumption in favour of sustainable development. It is Peel’s contention that the Secretary of State’s errors render the decision unlawful and should be quashed.”
One of the points being argued by Peel is that while Salford can demonstrate a five-year supply, the supply identified would not deliver a wide choice of homes. The supply is dominated by apartments in two wards, Ordsall and Irwell Riverside, Peel has said, but while the Secretary of State agreed that the council is not presently meeting the needs of the housing market as a whole, that was not enough to sway his verdict.
Peel continued: “In our view, the decision brushed aside the genuine needs of families and people on affordable housing waiting lists. These are needs that are not going to be met in any other way. It cannot be right that Salford’s housing supply is only about numbers and that it doesn’t matter what gets built where or for whom.”
“In those circumstances, where there is no alternative to meeting the real needs of people, national policy and housing needs must prevail over local policies that seek to restrict development. We think the Government has failed to correctly apply its own National Planning Policy Framework in this case.”
Peel is advised by Shoosmiths.