Both Salford council and a local residents group (RAID) have been locking horns with Peel since 2013 over its controversial application to create 600 dwellings along with marina upon a plot of land between Monton Green and Worsley Road.
The initial plans were refused by Salford council but that did not stop Peel from appealing the panels decision, however, after a six week public enquiry in 2014 the original decision was upheld by the Secretary of State in March 2015.
Peel then submitted a high court challenge but before that could be heard a separate high court panel ruled that a technical element of the inspectors report was wrong and that the March 2015 decision by then Secretary of State Eric Pickles be quashed.
The government said a new inquiry would have to be opened to consider all the evidence once again.
Meanwhile, Peel applied for planning permission to build 165 homes on a smaller part of Broadoak which was refused by the council’s planning panel in July 2017.
After yet another lengthy and costly enquiry, last month Secretary of State James Brokenshire backed both Salford Council and the campaigners by ruling that both appeals should be dismissed and the original outcomes be upheld.
Peel were given a 6 week window to challenge the decision and we are told have today formally submitted papers requesting a judicial review based on the question of whether Mr Brokenshire properly interpreted national policy in respect of housing and sustainable development.
In a statement issued today, a spokesperson for Peel said:
“Peel Investments (North) Limited will bring a claim for a statutory review of the decision by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government to dismiss two appeals for new homes at Broadoak in Salford, Greater Manchester.
“The central question will be whether the Secretary of State correctly interpreted national policy, particularly in respect of housing and the presumption in favour of sustainable development. It is Peel’s contention that the Secretary of State’s errors render the decision unlawful and should be quashed.
“In our view, the decision brushed aside the genuine needs of families and people on affordable housing waiting lists. These are needs that are not going to be met in any other way. It cannot be right that Salford’s housing supply is only about numbers and that it doesn’t matter what gets built where or for whom.
“In those circumstances, where there is no alternative to meeting the real needs of people, national policy and housing needs must prevail over local policies that seek to restrict development. We think the Government has failed to correctly apply its own National Planning Policy Framework in this case.”
Shortly after the decision last month Councillor Derek Antrobus, Lead Member for Planning and Sustainable Development at Salford City 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.
“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.
“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. ”
Salford is in the middle of a housing boom at present and many residents are highly critical of the lack of affordable social housing being built by developers in the city, earlier this week it was revealed that proposals are being drawn up to bring a 'Congestion Charge' style scheme into areas of Greater Manchester to improve declining air quality, Salford is among the most highly affected areas in the county and so campaigners argue that building these houses on what is essentially part of the green lungs of the city would only impact the local environment further.
Something that two secretaries of state now seem to fully agree on.
Regardless it now looks like the battle for Broadoak is to rumble on into 2019 with Peel seemingly unwilling to take NO for an answer.
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