‘Much-needed’ housing set to be built on green space despite strong opposition

Plans to build five terraced houses and an apartment building on green space in Salford have been approved despite strong calls to reject the development.

The five affordable homes and 12 specialist apartments for adults with learning disabilities have been granted planning permission in Walkden.

It comes after around 100 residents objected to the application to develop the council-owned land located between Crosby Avenue and Crompton Street.

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Salford council already agreed to sell the site to housing association Great Places after considering alternative locations in the area for the scheme.

But residents have raised concerns about the loss of recreational land and claim a new access road in the plans will cause ‘chaos’ on the narrow street.

Oliver Spence, Brian Farrow, Marget Doherty and Stuart Wharton were opposed to the plans

Speaking at a planning panel meeting on Thursday (March 3), Crosby Avenue resident Laura Bowker urged councilors to save the Crompton Street ‘field’.

She said: “Today, you have the power to destroy the quality of life for all the residents surrounding this site or, as I hope you do, act as custodians for the community you work for and reject this application to steal a wonderful area of green space in the community of Walkden.”

The objector claimed that the council had ‘made a mockery of the so-called consultation process’, saying residents’ concerns had not been addressed.

She raised concerns about the loss of recreational land and argued that approving the application would be ‘irresponsible’ due to road safety dangers.

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Walkden South councilor Ifran Syed supported residents at the meeting.

He said: “What they’re asking for is a green space with cleaner air for their children and a place where communities come together and feel safe.

“This pandemic has shown that green spaces are essential for physical and mental health.

“Green spaces are needed more than ever before.”

However, members of the planning panel approved the application, arguing that the accommodation is ‘much-needed’, with only one voting against.

The supported living accommodation will have staff on site 24-hours-a-day, helping tenants with daily tasks such as shopping, cooking and personal care.

Plans for housing in Crompton Street, Walkden
The supported living accommodation in Walkden

Salford council will choose who lives in the specialist apartments while the affordable housing will be sold to the town hall’s development arm Derive.

Great Places has agreed to pay the council around £50,000 as ‘compensation’ for the loss of recreational land which will be used for sites nearby in the area.

The planning panel also approved the next phase of the £1bn Middlewood Locks scheme which will see another 909 flats built on two plots of land.

A 17-storey riverside apartment block with 160 flats, a gym and communal space in Derwent Street was also given the green light by the committee.

And two applications to convert houses in Claremont ward – one in Vestris Drive and another in Bolton Road – into five-bedroom houses of multiple occupation were approved despite receiving 30 objections and five petitions.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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