Revisions and delays to Salford’s local plan
The council has moved to tweak a string of development management policies and pushed back formal adoption of the first part of its plan until June 2022.
Salford City Council has pursued a two-part strategy to adopting its local plan, progressing a development management policies (DMP) document that will set the context for planning and allocations.
This core strategy and specific site allocations part will follow once Salford knows what is required of it within the nine-borough joint development plan, which is expected to emerge as a watered-down version of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.
The council consulted on the DMP element in early 2020, with the driving policy of “A Fairer City” setting out a tough stance on affordable housing provision. Under the proposals, developers in Salford would face stricter requirements to increase social value from their schemes, including having to submit a ‘social value strategy’ and contribute more towards affordable housing, Place North West reported last January.
An additional consultation has now been launched, with various revisions proposed.
The tweaked version sets out clearer policies in response to concerns about the safeguarding and promotion of community uses in town centre development. It proposes support for planning applications that incorporate community uses, and stipulates that development that results in the loss of a community use will only be permitted where replacement facilities can be introduced or where the current facilities are not viable.
Similarly, greater levels of protection are put in place for heritage assets, with the council having worked with Historic England on the rewording of policy in this area. There is particular attention paid to protecting assets in the development hotspots of Greengate, the Crescent and Salford Central, along with Worsley village and the Bridgwater Canal Corridor, Barton Aerodrome, Eccles town centre, Ordsall Hall and the Chat Moss area.
Government body Sport England has also worked with Salford City Council on redrafting policy around the protection and promotion of sports facilities, such as updating the contribution per bed space a residential developer should make as a contribution to sports facility provision.
Among the most sweeping changes come on the topic of green space. No fewer than 10 sites mapped out in the original document to be protected and enhanced as designated Local Green Spaces – including Blackleach Woods and Worsley Woods – have been removed from consideration.
The council’s argument is that designated Green Spaces have been deferred to the core strategy and site allocations part of the local plan, due to the relationship between these spaces and proposed development. The document states that “these sites will be afforded significant protection through other policies”.
A consultation on the updated sections is to run until Friday 19 March.