Galliford Try Partnerships and Trafford Housing Trust are set to secure consent to build up to 600 homes on a 72-acre former gas storage site in Partington, despite disagreements with council planners over provision of affordable housing.
The site, which backs on to Carrington Moss, will include a mix of 500 homes for private sale under Galliford Try’s Linden Homes brand, and THT’s brand Laurus Homes, while a further 100 are to be made available for shared ownership or affordable rent.
The housebuilder and housing trust, operating under a joint venture named Health Farm LLP, submitted an application for the project last August.
The hybrid application includes full planning permission for the first 148 homes on the site, featuring a mix of two, three, and four-bed houses, along with remediation works to the whole site.
The 148 homes are split between two phases, with the first delivering 80 houses on land to the south west of Broadway, and the second including 68 homes on the western side of the gas storage site. Of the homes delivered in the first two phases, 74 will be classed as affordable.
Four separate public green spaces are proposed as part of the first two phases; the largest covers nearly 400,000 sq ft and will act as a buffer between the second and later phases of the development. The other three green spaces range between 57,000 sq ft and 9,000 sq ft in the opening phases, and include a mix of grassland, trees, and footpaths.
The total number of trees to be planted in the first and second phases totals more than 3,800.
Alongside the full planning application, there is also an outline application for the remaining 452 homes, alongside new public open space. Access to these homes will be via Broadway.
Planner Barton Willmore has supported the joint venture on its application for the site, arguing there would be “overwhelming benefits” from the development, including economic and social benefits and delivery of affordable homes above Trafford Council’s normal criteria.
Trafford Council’s planning officers have put forward a ‘minded to grant’ recommendation ahead of next week’s planning committee.
The planners’ report argues there are a number of benefits with “significant weight” including the provision of new homes, a contribution towards the regeneration of Partington, and “significant areas of open space and green infrastructure”. Planners also backed the scheme based on the “re-use and remediation of a previously developed, under-utilised and contaminated land”.
However, planning officers also criticised the developers’ viability assessment, which argued the project “cannot sustain any affordable housing or other Section 106 requirements, and that the abnormal costs associated with this complex site mean that a ‘standard developer’ could not provide the council with any affordable units”.
Most of the affordable homes on the site will be delivered in the first two phases by THT and are supported by Homes England grant funding.
The council’s own viability consultant argued none of the developers’ viability scenarios “meet the required tests”, and argued the developers’ proposed profit margin of 20% “has not been justified” while anticipated sales values are “conservative”.
As a result, officers argued the scheme “should be able to deliver” 100 grant-funded affordable homes alongside side further affordable housing and would still be viable.
The report said: “Given that question marks remain over the robustness of the applicant’s viability appraisal, and that the affordable houses are to be provided through Homes England grant funding, albeit there is some impact on sales values to the developer, it is disappointing that the applicant is unwilling to provide further affordable units.”
If the scheme is approved, a legal agreement is to include a £162,750 contribution towards outdoor sports facilities; £56,000 towards highways improvements at the Manchester Road and Flixton Road junction; and a submission of a viability review of the scheme for each of the phases beyond the opening two.
Trafford Council’s planning committee will meet to discuss the plans on Thursday 11 April.