Salford City Council are holding a planning enforcement investigation before commencing with plans to build on Chat Moss.

The plan to build on the greenfield land was announced as part of the Places For Everyone plan.

Since then residents of Irlam and Cadishead have expressed their discontent with the new development, wanting to protect their greenspaces.

Salford has 278 available brownfield sites which equates to 198 hectares of land. This space could provide 24,000 homes.

These figures have frustrated locals, showing that there are plenty of other opportunities to build affordable housing without building on the moss.

Linnets on Chat Moss. Photo credit: Dave Steel

The Greater Manchester Housing Strategy report said that these brownfield sites were often too difficult to build on but people worry that difficult just means expensive.

In the plan, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennet wrote: “This is the right thing to do – it will help us not just drive our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, but to build a better future for everyone in our boroughs.”

The plan is supposed to improve Salford’s carbon footprint, however it would be more sustainable to build on sites that have been built on before.

It would also mean there is a need for new infrastructure: new drainage, roads, electricity etc.

This infrastructure is normally already in place for brownfield sites.

Fungus in the snow on Chat Moss. Photo credit: Dave Steel

Irlam resident, Ann Armitage said: “people in Irlam do not want to have stupid houses built on our greenbelt land. But we may as well accept defeat as Salford council always gets what they want, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong.”

People of Irlam have noticed there has been hardcore placed on the moss next to Astley Road. This is thought to be the start of the developments.

Another local resident, Alison Griffiths said: “The moss is a precious resource, a haven for nature and a great way to carbon offset.

“It is ill conceived, short-sighted and contrary to what most people believe should be happening. Once it’s gone it’s gone.”

There should be an outcome to the investigation by next week which will include the final plans for Chat Moss.

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