Oldham Civic Centre, Oldham Council, c Flickr user Mikey via CC BY . bit.ly SLASH DrpiO

The Places for Everyone soap opera continues. Credit: Flickr user Mikey via CC BY 2.0, bit.ly/48DrpiO


COLD FEET… Poor Places for Everyone can’t seem to catch a break. First, it was legally challenged by a Green Belt advocacy group. Now, Oldham Council may be rethinking its approval. A motion at an upcoming meeting is being made to remove the authority from the Greater Manchester spatial development plan. The reasoning? PfE does not guarantee the delivery of affordable homes, would unnecessarily damage the Green Belt, does not deliver the right mix of affordable housing in the right places, and it is focussed on developer profits. Hefty allegations, so we’ll be watching this one closely. Those who have been following the PfE saga will know Oldham approved the document in a 32-26 vote – so it could be a tight one.

Embankment Ducklings, p SCC

Just look at them! Credit: via Salford City Council

DUCKDATE… A couple of weeks ago we told you about the mallard ducks that had made their home on the roof terrace of 100 Embankment in Salford. The happy couple were also expecting some fluffy arrivals at the time and we are pleased to report that the ducklings are here.

Having baby ducks – up there with the cutest of all animal offspring – within easy reach is great news for the businesses within the office building, especially as companies are paying increasing attention to the wellbeing of their staff these days. Who could be stressed with ducklings around?

W Hotel & Residences St Michaels, Relentless, p Truth PR

The £6m, three-bedroom penthouse has been sold. Credit: via Truth PR

PENTHOUSE DEMAND… St Michael’s has already set the record for the highest office rent in Manchester and now the apartments within the £400m mixed-use scheme are pushing the envelope too. Salboy and Relentless, the developers behind the 40-storey residential phase, have announced that the W-branded apartments are flying out. 98% have sold within the six months since they were launched, including Manchester city centre’s most expensive ever apartment, a £6m penthouse. The identity of the purchaser was undisclosed.

Overhead lines, Friends of the Lake District, P, Friends of the Lake District

The removal of overhead power lines in the Lake District. Credit: Friends of the Lake District

GOING UNDERGROUND… Could the Lake District become any more visually appealing? Apparently so as overhead lines are soon to be removed as part of an Electricity North West drive to clear up those cluttering our national parks and beauty spots. The firm, which operates Cumbria’s power network, is spending £300,000 of its £6m visual amenity programme to remove lines at Thompson Ground, Hawkshead. The scheme will also see a section of the power network then installed underground. While no doubt many tourists will celebrate, this is also a real victory for Friends of the Lake District, a group that has been campaigning about the overhead lines since the 1930s!

Liz Truss UK Government c House of Commons

Truss caused a lot of damage in 44 days. Credit: House of Commons

TRUSS FUSS… As predicted, election night was a bad one for the Conservatives. Jacob Rees-Mogg, Penny Maudant, and Grant Shapps were among the high-profile Tories to lose their seats. Meanwhile, the property industry at large can bask in the warm glow of schadenfreude following Liz Truss’s defeat in South West Norfolk by 630 votes. The former Prime Minister’s disastrous mini-budget in October 2022 is cited by many as the cause of the industry’s slowdown. She got 43% less of the vote share than in 2019.

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