Planning applications have been approved for over 200 new homes to be built on Walkden’s St George’s playing fields.
The plans initially sparked controversy in July 2019, after Walkden residents voiced concerns regarding air pollution, traffic congestion and overcrowding of schools. This lead to the first application being denied.
Bellway Housing have now successfully re-applied for development on Walkden’s Hilton Lane, despite a huge community backlash regarding traffic concerns.
Walkden councillors are supporting local residents in protesting the development, including MP for Worsley and Eccles South, Barbara Keeley, who told us: “I am deeply concerned by the decision to approve this development on Hilton Lane.
“Many constituents have contacted me expressing their deep concerns about the consequences of this new housing development. There is already severe traffic congestion in this area with residents stuck in traffic for an hour.”
Keeley also added that: “The development will only make congestion worse and add to levels of air pollution, which are already high. Residents are also worried about the extra pressure this will bring on school places and GP services.”
These concerns have been supported by an outpour of social media posts regarding the upset within the Walkden community, including resident Kathy Aspinal, who posted on a Walkden Facebook forum that: “It should be written in the planning approval that developers will contribute/build schools/gp’s surgery’s etc. to relieve the pressure.”
Concerns over air pollution have also been growing following the World Health Organisation (WHO) study in May 2018, which revealed that Salford suffers with some of the worst air pollution in the country.
Environmental activist group Friends of the Earth Manchester have stated that: “This case is important because it is the first time a planning appeal has initially been refused due to concerns over air pollution and public health.”
The planning application calls for just 20 per cent of the homes to be listed as affordable housing, provided by council housing company Derive housing.
Derive housing have stated that as a council housing association, they have ‘no involvement’ with the controversy regarding the housing development.
Councillor for Walkden South Ward, Richard Critchley took to Twitter this morning to voice his concerns regarding the development, stating: “Very disappointed that these plans got approved. We need homes but in the right location. Traffic is a nightmare in this location and this development will only add to the problems.”
Very disappointed that these plans got approved. We need homes but in the right location. Traffic is a nightmare in this location and this development will only add to the problems https://t.co/WY4wgxetKq
— Richard Critchley (@CllrCritchley) October 7, 2019
Critchley’s post prompted a wealth of responses from disappointed Walkden residents.
It’s a joke. The fact the developer said do on line shopping proves they know traffic is bad. Drs, schools are at the point of bursting. 20 affordable homes wt actual! We need lots of affordable houses to address the housing crisis.
— Tammy Povey (@MrspTammy) October 7, 2019
Bellway Housing have declined to comment at this time.