Controversial plans for 450 homes on farmland have been revealed. The new estate, built at a cost of £54m, would be at Hazelhurst Farm, next to the East Lancashire Road at Worsley.
The 42-acre green-belt plot is sandwiched between the busy dual carriageway and a slip road to the M61. It is one of two proposals which are likely to trigger opposition among locals in the area – and probably end up the subject of public inquiries.
The other is a plan for a 74-acre plot, just east of Boothstown, opposite the RHS. Owned by Peel, the biggest landowner in Salford, that site has been earmarked for 300 “aspirational” luxury homes.
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Peel also own the Hazelhurst Farm plot. Consultation on that proposal to create what Peel call “an inclusive and sustainable residential community in Worsley, Salford, with a new primary school site, all set within a connected network of green spaces” was launched today.
Peel Land & Property and its homebuilder Northstone want to build “up to 450 energy efficient homes to meet local needs, including first time buyers, families and downsizers.”
They claim many of the new homes will be affordable housing, “to help meet the chronic shortage of affordable properties in the local area.” The scheme would also include land and funding for a new two-form entry primary school, to help meet a wider shortage of school places and “contribute to the family-friendly credentials of the proposals.”
The site is currently reached via a service road which runs parallel with the East Lancashire Road. There would be a new footpath to the adjacent Wardley Park and Ride facility for the Vantage Guided Busway, for new residents wishing to catch buses to central Salford and Manchester.
Peel claim the plans “will improve existing wildlife and local natural assets within and adjacent to the site, including enhancing the ecological potential of Worsley Woods.” This, they say, would provide a network of green spaces with walking and cycling connections to the surrounding area and help to improve the condition of the environment.
Hazelhurst Farm has been allocated for residential development by Salford City Council in Greater Manchester’s Places for Everyone Plan, which is currently being considered by the Secretary of State for Housing, Leveling Up and Communities.
The Hazelhurst Farm site lies to the east of the M60 and south of the East Lancashire Road, bordered by Richmond Drive. Four electricity pylons currently straddle the land and the drone of the motorway is incessant.
Councillor Robin Garrido, who represents Worsley and Westwood Park ward, said: “Access would have to be off the East Lancashire Road or by opening up existing cul-de-sacs of Hazelhurst Road which is already congested. The plans say it may include a new primary school. But just the plot would be provided – the council would have to find the money to build it.”
A council report says: “Part of the reason green belt is being released in Salford is in order to diversify the type of dwellings coming in the city, in particular to increase the supply of family houses in order to ensure that a range of housing needs are met. The allocations will also provide significant numbers of affordable homes. An increase in supply of houses will boost resilience of the city’s housing market should there be a period of downturn.”
In the regional blueprint it says Salford’s housing requirement from 2021 to 37 is 26,528 dwellings – an annual average of 1,658. This equates to 5,000 higher than the city’s own local housing need figure of 21,424.
Annabel Partridge, Peel L&P’s Associate Director of Development Planning, said: “In developing our plans, we have carefully considered both the natural characteristics of the area and the existing community. Our proposals for Hazelhurst Farm would represent an investment of over £54million to deliver a sustainable and inclusive new community and deliver some of the new family and affordable homes that the area desperately needs, as well as providing a much-needed new site for a new elementary school
“Peel L&P is a long-term investor in Salford and we’ve successfully delivered some transformational schemes in partnership over many years, like MediaCity, the AJ Bell Stadium, the RHS and improvements to the Bridgewater Canal.
“As many people will know, the delivery of new family and affordable homes is a longstanding challenge across the City, along with the need for new primary school sites, so we’re really pleased to now be bringing forward this new community that is fully aligned with Salford and Greater Manchester’s new plan.
“We are also really excited to show local people the innovative and sustainable housing designs of Northstone, who are based right here in Salford, and how we can create an attractive, modern neighborhoods through careful design.”
Find out more about the proposals and have your say at www.hazelhurstfarmconsultation.co.uk You can also call the dedicated community information line (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm) on 0333 358 0502. The public consultation will run until 14 June 2022.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.