Salford gives green light to 545-home tower with no affordable housing

Salford Council has granted consent for plans to build 545 flats in the city's tallest building at 55 storeys high, even though the proposal provides no affordable housing.

A visualisation of the One Heritage tower in Salford. Pic: OMI Architects
A visualisation of the One Heritage tower in Salford. Pic: OMI Architects

The city council’s planning committee voted yesterday (Thursday) to accept its officers recommendation to approve Hong Kong-based developer One Heritage’s scheme.

The full application proposes 545 flats and 512 square metres of ground floor commercial floor-space, in the historic Greengate area. 

One Heritage Tower is proposed for a 0.5 hectare site, currently largely occupied by a 120-space surface car park.  

The scheme comprises two blocks, the higher of which rises to 173m, which would make it the tallest building in Salford when complete. 

The two blocks, which are located 450m from Manchester Victoria railway station, are linked by a podium.  

The scheme provides no affordable housing, although the consent includes a clawback mechanism enabling Salford to extract further contributions from the applicant should the development’s viability increase in the future. The clawback monies would be directed towards the delivery of off-site affordable housing. 

The applicant’s viability appraisal has been reviewed by the city council’s consultant surveyors. This review has concluded that the applicant’s assertions that the scheme cannot support the maximum contribution are sound."

The council has negotiated £2.4 million worth of contributions towards public realm in the surrounding Greengate area, which the report says was identified as its priority for funding. 

The report says the regeneration of the surrounding area has seen the gradual replacement of former industrial buildings and commuter car parks by residential developments. 

Officers advised that the scheme accords with the Greengate Regeneration Strategy, published in 2018, which identifies the site for residential development and supports high density development.

The proposal, which was designed by Manchester-based OMI Architects, also has "excellent design quality", the report adds. 

Nick Berry, director of OMI Architects said: "This is a major milestone for the project and for the wider Greengate area which is now a significant part of the regional centre."

The applicant expects construction to commence in 2020, with an estimated completion date of 2023/4.

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