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Peel fail for a second time in bid to build more than 600 homes on fields in Salford

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 12/11/2018 Paul Britton
a tree in the middle of a lush green field: Broadoak, between Monton and Salford © Manchester Evening News Broadoak, between Monton and Salford

Property and land giants Peel have failed for a second time to get more than 600 homes built on 'green lung' land in Salford.

The government has upheld the council's decision to refuse planning permission for two housing developments at Broadoak, between Monton and Worsley.

Council bosses said the secretary of state ruled they would 'fragment and detract from the openness and continuity of the Worsley greenway' and would cause 'unacceptable harm to its character and its value as an amenity and open recreational resource'.

The decision follows a long-running legal saga and two public inquiries over the land, a mixture of woods, meadows and open space stretching from near Monton Green across to Worsley Road.

a large green field with trees in the background © Credits: Manchester Evening News

Manchester Evening News

The council said Peel's plans involved 600 new homes and a smaller development of 165 homes within the Broadoak site.

The council originally refused planning permission in November 2013, but Peel appealed the decision and a public inquiry was held.

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An inspector said the plan should be thrown out and that decision was subsequently upheld by former secretary of state for local government, Eric Pickles, in 2015.

Peel submitted a high court challenge, the council said, but before that could be heard, a separate high court panel ruled a technical element of the inspector's report was wrong and the 2015 decision was quashed.

The government then said a new inquiry would have to be opened to consider the evidence again.

a large green field with trees in the background © Credits: Manchester Evening News

Manchester Evening News

Meanwhile, Peel applied for planning permission to build 165 homes on a smaller part of the site, which was refused by the town hall's planning panel in July last year, the council said.

The latest decision by the government follows a second public inquiry, which cost the council £100,000 in legal fees and costs.

Councillor Derek Antrobus, lead member for planning and sustainable development at the council, said: "This is the second time the secretary of state has supported the council’s policy to protect our valuable green space.

"The Greenway policy has been in force for years and is designed to keep a vital green lung between Monton and Worsley.

"Local residents from both areas have supported our stand on this and did a fantastic job in putting the case to government.

a man holding a sign posing for the camera © Credits: Salford Advertiser

Salford Advertiser

"This land is not the right place for development and thanks to our long-standing policies we have protected it for generations to come. Our draft local plan policies will aim to further strengthen protection of this land."

Coun Antrobus urged Peel to focus on brownfield land.

He added: "Salford is committed to maximising development on brownfield land and there are plenty of other sites which fit that bill where Peel can build much needed family homes.

"I would encourage them to concentrate on those areas. I sincerely hope they will not waste taxpayers’ money by challenging this decision and making the council fight them again in court."

A spokesperson for Peel Land Property said: "We are very disappointed with the secretary of state’s decision.

"The report appears to accept that applications like this are currently the only way to address the shortage of new family homes and affordable housing in Salford, but then stops short by allowing open land in Worsley to prevail over local housing needs. We need to digest the report in full before deciding on our future approach."

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