A public inquiry into the potential loss of part of the riverside footpath has been launched. Credit: via planning documents

Salford mayor calls for ‘urgent review’ of Ralli Quays

Despite being approved by the city council’s planning committee in January, Paul Dennett is calling for LGIM’s hotel and office scheme to be redesigned in a bid to preserve a section of the River Irwell towpath. 

The Ralli Quays project, which proposes the creation of a 212,000 sq ft office and a 280-bedroom hotel, would result in part of the current riverside walkway being lost.  

As it stands, this section of the Irwell path is only partially accessible to the public, having been stopped up due to safety concerns. 

A campaign to protect this part of the walkway from being lost completely has prompted the Department of Transport to launch a public inquiry into the matter.  

In a statement published yesterday, Paul Dennett said work was being carried out to “develop an alternative to the current proposals”. 

“My default position is and always will be to protect public rights of way wherever possible,” he said. 

“Following the planning committee’s decision and briefings with officers, I have requested that plans be urgently reviewed with developers to ensure that if there are any development alternatives to stopping up the route they are being fully explored. 

“If there is a feasible option to retain public access, we will find it and work with partners and stakeholders to develop an alternative to the current proposals”. 

Speaking at the planning committee meeting in January, Dr Morag Rose said the loss of the footpath would amount to “social cleansing” as the footpath is often used by homeless people. 

“Enclosure is not a compassionate or appropriate response to homelessness,” she said. “Our Irwell should be for everyone. Please don’t allow it to be annexed.” 

Following Dennett’s statement, Rose took to Twitter. 

“Public space matters, the river is our common treasury and we shouldn’t sacrifice it for private profit,” she said.

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Well done Paul Dennett! Developers take note!

By A Happy Transport Planner

This issue should clearly have been sorted out long before it got to Planning Committee.

Given Salford Council’s financial support of the New Bailey schemes via the English Cities Fund (of which L&G are a partner) the officers at the Council clearly have a way to getting to the the CEX of L&G and preventing this debacle being an embarrassment and an issue for the City Mayor to now sort out.

By Anonymous

Appreciate the principle of wanting to keep the towpath. However, does this towpath lead anywhere? It seems to end / not be passable from Irwell Street bridge. It certainly isn’t used as a thoroughfare currently.

By Anonymous

A common sense approach.

By Maeve

How has this even got to this stage. Massive waste of time for all involved. Bizarre original decision from the developer.

By Dave

To anonymous…isn’t the point that this was once a public access. Just because it is deemed currently unsafe, or isn’t used as a thoroughfare doesn’t mean we should condemn it forever. The answer is to use the development to bring this river side walkway to a usable, safe condition. Why are we seeking to repeat past mistakes? The river is an asset to the city and the public.

By Anon

Says he from his ivory tower!

By Anonymous

So he’s happy to come out agains this quite fantastic proposal, yet let’s X1 and similar developers take the micky, lets through dross that is constructed with the bare minimum to squeeze through planning, all whilst looking nothing like the renders. SCC have no idea what they’re doing.

By The Squirrel's Nutw

Good news, this should be an opportunity to reinstate and extend the towpath walkway not close it off. A river walk from Spinningfields down to Salford Quays is really what should be being looked at, so much building going on without a focus on outdoor public space. Open up the river and get people using it.

By Anonymous

The right decision of the mayor to fix this omission of his.

By Johnny

@The Squirrel’s Nutw

As the Mayor has already said themselves, they have no power to stop a Planning Committee approving a development; they have, at best, influence to try and stop this.

By Byronic

Where are the balconies on this scheme :’-(

By Balcony warrior

It’s the right thing to do and will set a precedent for other developments going forward.
They need to get the ball rolling again on the Irwell River Park, it’s Greater Manchester’s biggest own goal at the moment.

By Anonymous

Hey Balcony Warrior. Luckily Salford City Council’s planning department aren’t weirdly averse to balconies in the way Manchester City Council’s planning department are which is why you see them included far more frequently on residential blocks across the city.

By Balcony Voyeur

Balconies? It’s an office development!

By Stop Balcony Nonsense

Mmmm…. Yes. Good idea to save this walkway and access…. However… please look at the mess that is Adelphi Wharf… and what hasn’t happened to the SCC planning approved walkway next to the Irwell at Adelphi Weir!! SCC and the Mayor are fully aware of this and apparently powerless to do anything about it. So in the end, you don’t really care about the these walkways being maintained, or accessible… it’s already going on. Area is currently unfinished, dangerous, an eyesore and fenced off.. and it’s a much more sensitive spot that Ralli Quay

By Salford Born and Bred

These are offices and the point of the article is about reviewing the development of some space along the towpath. The whole balcony thing is beyond parody now as these comments show.

By Anonymous

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