10 Education, health and community facilities

Policy EHC 1

Provision and Improvement of Schools and Colleges

Planning permission will be granted for the provision of new schools and colleges, and also for the improvement or replacement of schools and colleges on existing sites, provided that the development would:

  1. not have an unacceptable impact on the amenity of neighbouring uses;
  2. secure an adequate standard of playing field and other recreation provision in an accessible and convenient location;
  3. be accessible to the community it serves by a range of means of transport, particularly foot, cycle, and public transport;
  4. incorporate adequate provision for disabled access;
  5. not give rise to unacceptable levels of traffic congestion, or have an adverse impact on highway safety in terms of traffic generation, parking or servicing; and
  6. make provision, wherever possible, for community use of the buildings and grounds.

Reasoned justification

10.4 Schools and colleges play a vital role in the life of local communities. Existing facilities sometimes operate from poor buildings and/or constrained sites, and the improvement and renewal of such facilities will therefore be supported. For the purposes of this policy, “colleges” refers to sixth form and further education colleges, but not higher educational establishments.

10.5 The city council is currently seeking to provide new buildings for many of its schools, as a means of securing the highest quality of learning environment for the young people of Salford. Such developments also support the city’s regeneration and its attractiveness as a residential location. In many cases, it will be possible to provide new school buildings within an existing school site, and this will be supported provided that the above criteria are met. In some instances this may necessitate the provision of new buildings on the existing school playing fields. In other cases, it may be necessary to relocate a school to an entirely new site whilst continuing to serve the local catchment.

10.6 It is particularly important to ensure that schools and colleges are accessible by a choice of means of transport, and this will be an important consideration in determining the location of new school and college sites. The provision of improved bus facilities and 'Safer Routes to Schools' will be encouraged.

10.7 It is the policy of the city council to provide for community facilities at all new schools as part of the basic design brief. The provision of such facilities, coupled with greater community use of existing school buildings and land, will help to maximise the use of existing resources, increase public access to recreation facilities, and also provide for maximum community involvement in the development of schools in the city. However, community use of school buildings and facilities will be subject to the appraisal of the relevant governing body.

10.8 The standard of playing field and other recreation provision at new or replaced schools and colleges will depend on whether they are intended to serve only the establishment, or whether some degree of dual use is intended. If the former, then provision should be made in accordance with the standards set out in the Education (Schools Premises) Regulations 1999 or any successor regulations; and if the latter, then to an equal or greater standard, having regard to current local provision and needs identified in the Salford Greenspace Strategy.

Policy EHC 3

Provision and Improvement of Health and Community Facilities

Planning permission will be granted for the provision of new, and improvements to existing, health and community facilities by public, private and voluntary agencies, provided that the development would:

  1. not have an unacceptable impact on residential amenity and character;
  2. not have an unacceptable impact on environmental quality;
  3. be accessible to the community it serves by a range of means of transport, particularly foot, cycle, and public transport, and incorporate adequate provision for disabled access;
  4. not give rise to unacceptable levels of traffic congestion, or have an adverse impact on highway safety in terms of traffic generation, parking or servicing;
  5. have the potential to act as a community focus and encourage linked trips wherever possible; and
  6. be consistent with other policies and proposals of the UDP.

Where a significant expansion of facilities is proposed on a site that does not currently enjoy good accessibility by a range of means of transport, contributions or improvements to pedestrian, cycling and/or public transport facilities and services may be sought.

Reasoned justification

10.13 The public, private and voluntary sectors all have an important role to play in ensuring that the network of health and community facilities is maintained, improved and broadened, contributing to the overall quality of life for the city’s residents. The city council will support this process, but will seek to ensure that new facilities are in locations that maximise their accessibility in order to promote social inclusion, and minimise any potential negative impact on nearby uses. Where development will increase the demand for facilities, the city council may seek to enter into a planning obligation with the developer to secure new or improved facilities.

10.14 The preferred location for most health and community facilities will be within or adjacent to the city’s district and neighbourhood centres, because of the good accessibility of such centres, and the positive effect these uses can have on their vitality. However, such uses should be consistent with retaining an adequate retail presence within the centre, and will need to be in line with the provisions of Policy S3 'Loss of Shops'. Existing clusters of facilities outside district and local centres are also a suitable location. Smaller facilities, such as local doctors’ surgeries and nurseries may be more appropriately located within residential areas, but will still be assessed against the above criteria.

10.15 Individual ethnic, religious and social groups may have specific social and community requirements, and the city council will work with them to enable them to be met wherever possible. For example, it is recognised that the local orthodox Jewish community require that facilities such as synagogues are within walking distance of their homes, and this will act as a constraint on the siting of such uses.

Policy EHC 4

Reuse of Existing Health and Community Facilities

Planning permission for the reuse or redevelopment of existing or former health or community facilities will be granted where there is a clear lack of demand for the existing use, or appropriate alternative provision is made, and where the development is consistent with the other policies and proposals of the UDP.

Reasoned justification

10.16 The changing size, structure and needs of the city’s population will inevitably result in a changing demand for facilities. This, coupled with pressures towards centralisation, rationalisation, and other changes in service delivery, will lead to sites and buildings currently in social and community uses becoming vacant. The city council is keen to ensure that such uses are not “squeezed out” by other more commercial uses when there is still a local need for them, disadvantaging the citizens of Salford. However, where sites and buildings do become surplus to requirements, it is important that their appropriate reuse is supported.

10.17 The retention of existing health and community facilities will be encouraged by promoting increased awareness and use of them, seeking improvements in their accessibility, and supporting proposals for improvements to their sites and buildings in line with Policy EHC3 'Provision and Improvement of Health and Community Facilities'.

Policy EHC 5

University of Salford

Planning permission will be granted for development that supports the University of Salford’s role as a higher education establishment of national and international importance, where this is consistent with the other policies and proposals of the UDP.

Development proposals within the Peel Park, Adelphi and Frederick Road campuses will be permitted, provided that they:

  1. contribute to the integration of the campuses with the surrounding area, and maintain and, where appropriate, improve public access through the campuses;
  2. secure access improvements for public transport users, cyclists and pedestrians as part of a travel plan;
  3. retain a mix of uses in the areas around The Crescent, Adelphi Street and Chapel Street;
  4. are of a high quality of design consistent with the policies of the Design chapter;
  5. retain a network of open space through and around the campus, and do not encroach on Peel Park;
  6. contribute to the provision of any infrastructure required by increased University activity within the area, and, where appropriate, to the improvement and maintenance of Peel Park; and
  7. are consistent with other policies and proposals of the UDP.

Reasoned justification

10.18 The city council recognises the importance of the University as an educational establishment of more than local significance, and the likelihood that its activity will increasingly be concentrated at the Peel Park, Adelphi and Frederick Road campuses. The University fulfils a number of roles within the city as a major employer, a key source of knowledge and expertise, a purchaser of significant services and supplies, a contributor to enhancing the external profile of the city, and a key provider of enhanced skills to the local community. The city council is particularly keen to build on the positive social and economic benefits that derive from the presence of the university, and support the development of the associated Innovation Park and Knowledge Capital, in accordance with Policy E2 'Innovation Park' and Policy E3 'Knowledge Capital'.

10.19 The university also has a very strong role to play in the regeneration of Central Salford, and is a key partner in the delivery of the Chapel Street Regeneration Strategy. It will be important to ensure that the university is integrated with its surroundings, such that its presence continues to be a positive benefit to the local area. Retaining a broad mix of uses around the Peel Park and Adelphi area will be an important part of this and would contribute to the vitality of the area. Peel Park has a significant role to play in providing a high quality setting for the university, and as a facility for those working, studying and living in the area, and therefore improvements to it will be sought as part of major university developments. A travel plan is currently being prepared as part of the continuing development of the university to ensure that it is accessible by a range of modes of transport and the impact of vehicular traffic on the local area is minimised. Applications for student accommodation will also be judged against Policy H7 'Provision of Student Accommodation' of the UDP.

Policy EHC 6

Hope Hospital

The modernisation and expansion of health care facilities at Hope Hospital will be permitted provided that:

  1. all development proposals form part of a co-ordinated programme set out within an approved masterplan;
  2. transport issues are addressed in a co-ordinated manner, particularly through the development of a travel plan, improved public transport, and provision for cycling, pedestrians, car parking and access/egress;
  3. neighbouring uses, particularly residential, would not suffer any unacceptable reduction in amenity or safety, for example through the impact of traffic or car parking associated with the hospital;
  4. the long-term recreational use of Stott Lane Playing Fields is protected; and
  5. development is of a high quality of design consistent with the policies of the Design chapter

Reasoned justification

10.20 The city council recognises the regional importance of Hope Hospital, as a centre of excellence for the organisation and delivery of clinical services, teaching and education, and research and development, and its local importance as the district general hospital for Salford’s residents. It is also acknowledged that there is a need to progressively redevelop its facilities in order to provide the highest standard of health care for the city’s residents, and this is being taken forward through the SHIFT (Salford’s Health Investment For Tomorrow) Project, which has secured major government funding. This major investment in the hospital has the potential to provide significant benefits for the wider area, for example through improvements in public transport, enhanced standards of design and environmental quality, provision of community health care and other facilities, employment and training opportunities, and by supporting local services and facilities such as shops. It will be important that future development maximises these benefits as far as possible.

10.21 A masterplan has been developed in order to co-ordinate improvements, although this is likely to evolve substantially over time. It is important that individual development proposals are only taken forward as part of this modified masterplan, to ensure that the overall development of the site is successful. It will be expected that all health and ancillary facilities will be concentrated within the existing hospital site.

10.22 The centralisation of hospital facilities within the city makes it increasingly important that Hope Hospital is easily accessible to staff, patients and visitors by a range of modes of transport, particularly public transport. Invariably, it is those least likely to have access to a private car such as the elderly and the poor that have the greatest health care needs.

10.23 It is also important to ensure that any potentially negative impacts of the hospital on the surrounding residential community are minimised, and issues such as staff and visitor car parking, access/egress to the site, and the design and scale of new development will all be central.

Policy EHC 7

Sites for Travelling People

Proposals for new provision for travelling people will only be permitted where they meet the following criteria:

  1. a clear need for the development has been demonstrated;
  2. the site is reasonably accessible to a range of social and community facilities, including schools, health care facilities, and local shops;
  3. the site is able to meet the needs of the travelling group concerned in terms of providing for any required combination of residential, storage and maintenance uses, by reason of satisfactory site layout and design;
  4. there would be no unacceptable nuisance to neighbours or unacceptable harm to the local environment; and
  5. the proposal complies with other policies and proposals of the UDP.

Reasoned justification

10.24 There are a number of different groups within society that travel at least part of the time rather than having a permanent built home, such as travelling showpeople and gypsies. The needs of these groups can vary, and consequently different groups may require different sites. The city of Salford currently has three sites for travelling showpeople, at John Street/Kent Street in Broughton, Cleggs Lane in Walkden North, and Duchy Road in Irwell Riverside. Unlike a number of local authorities within the area, the city council also provides a site for gypsies, at Duchy Road in Pendleton. Given this high level of current provision, and the under-use of some of these sites, it is not expected that additional sites will be required over the lifetime of the UDP. However, the criteria above provide a mechanism for judging any new proposals that may come forward.

10.25 The nature of many such travelling uses, often with a mixture of residential, storage and maintenance activity as well as comings and goings, can lead to issues of noise and traffic generation. Therefore, it is important that sites are carefully chosen so as to minimise the potential adverse impact of the use in amenity and environment terms. Natural screening is considered advantageous, and visual encroachment into open countryside is unacceptable. The sites should also provide reasonable access to retail, social and community facilities to ensure that the groups using them are not disadvantaged. In order for sites to meet the needs of travelling groups they should be reasonably flat and have good vehicular access.

Policy EHC 9

Site for the Provision of a New School

Land at Glendinning Street, Langworthy (1.9 ha) is allocated for the provision of a new primary school in accordance with Policy ST9 'Retail, Leisure, Social and Community Provision' and Policy EHC1 'Provision and Improvement of Schools and Colleges'.

Reasoned justification

10.27 The site is required for a new primary school, which will replace an existing school on the site allocated under Policy S5 'Site for New Retail Development' for a new superstore at Salford Precinct, and will form an important part of the regeneration of the Seedley and Langworthy area. The site is currently occupied by terraced housing, which is proposed for demolition as part of the area’s regeneration, and the use of compulsory purchase powers to acquire it will be supported.

Policy EHC 10

Site for the Provision of Cemetery Facilities

Land to the north of Swinton Cemetery, Swinton North (3.5 ha) is allocated for use as a cemetery in accordance with Policy ST9 'Retail, Leisure, Social and Community Provision' and Policy EHC3 'Provision and Improvement of Health and Community Facilities'.

Reasoned justification

10.28 Swinton Cemetery is reaching its capacity, and this site will provide additional land for burial purposes. In the event of ground conditions preventing the use of the site as an extension to the cemetery, consideration will be given to the improvement of the site for recreational purposes.