Peel loses High Court battle over Worsley housing
Peel L&P has lost its latest legal challenge over Broadoak, a greenfield site in Worsley where the developer was looking to build 600 homes.
It is the latest blow for the developer, which has been locked in various battles over the site since planning permission for an initial 600 homes was refused by Salford Council in November 2013. Another planning application for up to 165 homes was also put forward for another part of the Broadoak site, but this was also refused, this time in 2017. The planning applications were brought forward by Peel Investments North, part of Peel L&P.
Planning appeals over the refusals were dismissed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in November last year; Peel subsequently challenged this decision, and on 2 August, Justice Dove ruled against Peel at the High Court.
At the case, Peel argued the case that Salford’s housing land supply of 13 years was almost entirely made up of city centre apartments, with a lack of family and affordable homes.
It was also argued the ongoing delays to the GMSF mean individual schemes would have to come forward to meet housing need. Meanwhile, Peel also said the existing policies applying to the site were out of date, coming from a Unitary Development Plan running between 2004 and 2016.
Peel had argued a decision should “got beyond the numbers to consider whether the housing being provided is meeting local need”, but this argument failed to sway the judge who ruled against the developer.
After the judgement, Louise Morrissey, director of land and planning at Peel L&P, said the decision “doesn’t seem to have grappled with the issues” in the planning applications.
“The judgment will encourage local authorities to delay plan making and focus on delivering numbers only, at the expense of making sites available for family and affordable housing,” she said.
“This is not where we expected to be, given the national imperative to get on with tackling the housing crisis. We will carefully review the judgement and consider our position.
“At the very least, the case highlights that the national rhetoric of building the right homes in the right places is not being achieved on the ground due to a focus on numbers at the expense of the actual needs of families and people requiring affordable homes. If the Government is serious about tackling the housing crisis it needs to tighten up on what is being delivered on the ground.”
Salford City Council had previously aimed to protect the greenfield plot, described as a “vital green lung” that would be fragmented by development. The site is currently a mix of woods and open meadows, stretching from Monton Green to Worsley Road.