4 Strategic policies

Policy ST 1

Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods

Development will be required to contribute towards the creation and maintenance of sustainable urban neighbourhoods.

Reasoned justification

4.1 The concept of sustainable urban neighbourhoods lies at the heart of the Plan’s strategy and is the basis upon which the city's regeneration will be successfully secured. It effectively encompasses the seven pledges of the city council, and the vision and seven themes of the Community Plan, as set out in Chapters 1 and 2 of the UDP, as well as linking to all the other policies and proposals of the UDP.

4.2 Sustainable urban neighbourhoods are places where people want to live, work and/or visit. They may evolve over time, to meet changing needs, but their positive long-term future should be assured. Achieving this will require, amongst other things, an appropriate mix of uses; quality homes and job opportunities; accessible local facilities; sustainable transport systems; the sustainable use of resources, and protection of important environmental and human-made assets; a healthy, safe and attractive environment; and social equity and inclusion.

4.3 Where appropriate, area action plans will be produced to provide additional guidance for individual areas of the city, to assist in the creation and maintenance of sustainable urban neighbourhoods. These area action plans will be prepared in consultation with local communities.

Policy ST 3

Employment Supply

A good range of local employment opportunities will be secured by:

  1. maintaining an adequate supply and variety of land and buildings for employment purposes;
  2. protecting, and increasing the attractiveness of, existing employment areas;
  3. enabling the diversification of the local economy; and
  4. using planning obligations to secure local labour contracts and training opportunities.

Reasoned justification

4.14 The expansion of job opportunities and the reduction of local unemployment have been two of the city's major success stories over the past decade. The city now has a greater proportion of the conurbation’s employment opportunities (10.0%) than it does of its population (8.7%). Residents of Salford also benefit from having very good access to the huge range of employment opportunities in Manchester city centre and Trafford Park. The UDP seeks to continue this strengthening of the local economy in a variety of ways, as set out in this policy. Together these measures will assist in maintaining low unemployment levels, and promoting social inclusion.

4.15 The UDP allocates a range of sites for employment uses, and identifies a series of mixed-use areas within the Regional Centre where certain forms of employment development are encouraged, so as to ensure that there continues to be an adequate supply of land and buildings for economic development. The protection and improvement of existing employment areas will also assist in maintaining that supply, as well as supporting existing businesses and preventing them from being forced out of the city by higher value uses.

4.16 The main focus of the allocated sites is in the Western Gateway, which, together with the Regional Centre, is the city's main economic driver. However, there is also a major site allocated for employment use within Little Hulton, because of this area’s above average unemployment levels and its slightly less favourable geographical location in relation to the conurbation’s main employment centres.

4.17 Over the period January 1991 to January 2004, 144.9 hectares (net) of land was developed for offices and industry, at an average of 11.1 hectares (net) per annum. The UDP specifically allocates a total of 143.3 hectares (gross) for employment development through Policy E1 'Strategic Regional Site, Barton', Policy E4 'Sites for Employment Development' and Policy MX3 'Sites for a Mix of Open Space and Built Development'.

4.18 The components of the city's employment provision are shown in Table 4.1 Components of employment provision.

Table 4.1 Components of employment provision.
Components of provision

Area (ha)

Sites with planning permission as of January 2004  
Sites under construction for offices and/or industry (net)


Allowance for provision on sites with planning permission for offices or industry:  

- Sites with full planning permission (net)


- Sites with outline planning permission (net)


Unidentified sites (Windfalls)
Allowance for development on unidentified sites:  
- Within the mixed-use areas


- Outside the mixed-use areas (based on an average of 2.27 hectares per annum)


Sites allocated for employment development in the UDP (0.4ha and over)


Total Provision for January 2004 to March 2016


1. Allocations are gross; all other figures are net.
2. Allocations exclude the former Lowry High School site (MX 4), and parts of E 4/3 and E 4/7 that have outline planning permission, but include 7 ha of development at Clegg’s Lane (MX 3/1).

4.19 Provision has therefore been made for 225.1 hectares of employment land for the period January 2004 - March 2016. This gives an average annual figure of 18.4 hectares (gross). This is substantially above the average rate over the last 10 years. However, that past average is calculated on net site areas, whereas the allocations are based on gross areas, and it is important that a range of different sites are available for developers. Furthermore, it is likely that some of the allocated sites will not come forward in their entirety during the plan period.

4.20 The allocations, together with sites within the mixed-use areas identified in Policy MX1 'Development in Mixed-use Areas', will provide varied opportunities for economic development in many different sectors of the economy. In addition to this, the UDP will enable the diversification of the local economy in a number of other ways, including supporting the:

  • establishment of a Strategic Regional Site at Barton, including the potential to provide a multi-modal freight interchange;
  • appropriate diversification of the rural economy;
  • establishment of an Innovation Park;
  • development, within the Chapel Street mixed-use areas, of a cultural and media hub as part of the Irwell Corridor Economic Development Zone, and a media link involving Greater Manchester’s four universities, focusing on Knowledge Capital; and
  • continued development of Salford Quays as a major tourism destination, and appropriate tourism development elsewhere in the city.

4.21 The city council will encourage employers and developers to enter into local labour and training agreements, appropriate to the individual development, to ensure that the city's residents are able to access the employment opportunities that are provided within the city.

Policy ST 4

Key Tourism Areas

The following areas will be protected and enhanced as tourism destinations, and tourism development will be focused primarily within them:

  1. Salford Quays;
  2. Chapel Street; and
  3. Worsley Village, Barton Swing Aqueduct, and the Bridgewater Canal Corridor.

Reasoned justification

4.22 Tourism is an important employment growth sector for the city, and successful tourism development can help to improve Salford’s image. Tourism development includes tourism attractions and support facilities such as hotels, cafes and other ancillary uses. Focusing such development in specific parts of the city will help to maximise the potential to attract large numbers of visitors to the city, enabling linked trips to be made and the more efficient provision of support facilities. Improvements in connections between the three areas identified above will be encouraged, for example along the Manchester Ship Canal between Salford Quays and the Bridgewater Canal, particularly through enhanced public transport provision and new or improved Strategic Recreation Routes.

4.23 The scale of development will need to be appropriate to the location concerned, in accordance with Policy E6 'Tourism Development' and other policies and proposals of the plan, particularly those contained in the 'Environmental protection and improvement' chapter. The areas set out in this will be protected from inappropriate development that could undermine their success as tourism locations, reduce their attractiveness to visitors, or otherwise adversely affect their ability to function optimally as tourism destinations. For example, this may be because of an unsuitable use, poor design, or the traffic impacts of development.

4.24 Salford Quays is already a major tourism attraction of national importance, with the Lowry complex, Plaza, Discount Outlet Mall, and Digital World Centre. Facilities in Trafford, such as the Imperial War Museum, Manchester United, and Lancashire County Cricket Club, complement this provision.

4.25 Chapel Street, including the Crescent, is an exciting mixed-use area with a wealth of heritage, and key tourism assets such as the Museum and Art Gallery, Peel Park, and the cultural facilities of the University of Salford. The location within the Regional Centre, coupled with the regeneration plans for the wider area and the restoration of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal, provide further opportunities to attract major tourism development.

4.26 The potential designation of Worsley Village, Barton Swing Aqueduct and the Bridgewater Canal as a World Heritage Site offers huge opportunities for the city. These features already attract a significant number of tourists, and sensitive development that respects the heritage and local amenity would be appropriate.

Policy ST 5

Transport Networks

Transport networks will be maintained and improved through a combination of the following measures:

  1. the protection and extension of the network of pedestrian and cycling routes;
  2. the expansion and improvement of the public transport system and the enhancement of support facilities;
  3. the maintenance and improvement of the highway network;
  4. the provision of new road infrastructure where this will support the city's economic regeneration;
  5. requiring development proposals, highway improvement schemes and traffic management measures to make adequate provision for the needs of the disabled, pedestrians and cyclists, and, wherever appropriate, maximise the use of public transport; and
  6. the protection and enhancement of rail and water-based infrastructure to support the movement of freight and passengers.

Reasoned justification

4.27 Efficient and well-connected transport networks are an essential part of any successful city, enabling all sections of society to move around freely, easily and safely. This supports social inclusion and economic development, as well as helping to make a city a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

4.28 The city council will seek widespread and coordinated improvements in Salford’s transport networks through a variety of measures, including its own major investment in new provision and the management and maintenance of existing infrastructure. The further extension of Metrolink, the establishment of Quality Bus Corridors on key routes, and the improvement of stations and waiting facilities will all be sought in order to improve public transport provision within the city. The private sector will be expected to make appropriate contributions to infrastructure improvements as part of new developments.

4.29 The continued maintenance of the road network will be a key aspect of successful transport networks, but this also seeks a move towards the provision and use of more sustainable forms of movement. It requires that provision for disabled people, pedestrians, cyclists and public transport is fully taken into account in the design of new developments, in the provision of new transport infrastructure, and in the implementation of traffic management measures. Such schemes should incorporate measures designed to enhance access to transport networks and services for all groups and individuals, improve safety for all transport users, reduce conflicts between various transport modes, alleviate the environmental problems caused by traffic congestion, and secure improvements to air quality.

4.30 It is important that the UDP supports the sustainable movement of freight as well as that of people. As part of this, Policy E1 'Strategic Regional Site, Barton' allows for the provision of a multi-modal freight interchange at the Barton strategic regional site, including the provision of a new rail link to the Manchester-Newton-le-Willows-Liverpool railway line, and potentially also a new berth on the Manchester Ship Canal.

Policy ST 7

Mixed-use Development

Mixed-use development that minimises the need to travel will be focused in the Chapel Street regeneration area, Salford Quays, the Ordsall Lane riverside corridor, Lower Broughton, the town centres, neighbourhood centres, and other locations well served by public transport.

Reasoned justification

4.32 Mixed-use development can add vitality and diversity to an area, reduce the need to travel, act as a catalyst for urban regeneration, and often involves higher densities and therefore a more efficient use of land, thus contributing towards sustainable development. The locations identified within the as being particularly suitable for mixed use development are all highly accessible, and places where the diverse activity and the efficient use of land would be most appropriate. Further guidance is contained in the mixed-use Chapter of the UDP.

4.33 It is important that mixed-use developments are carefully designed and managed, to minimise the potential for conflict between different uses, and ensure a satisfactory level of residential amenity. The design of developments should provide for the segregation of different uses, for both functional and security reasons.

Policy ST 9

Retail, Leisure, Social and Community Provision

The provision of a comprehensive and accessible range of retail, leisure, social and community facilities will be secured by:

  1. protecting and enhancing the vitality and viability of existing town centres and neighbourhood centres, as defined on the proposals map;
  2. adopting a sequential approach to the location of new retail and leisure development; and
  3. facilitating enhanced education, health and community provision that meets local needs.

The following retail hierarchy will be maintained and enhanced:

  1. town centres (Salford Precinct; Eccles; Swinton; Walkden);
  2. neighourhood centres (Broughton Village; Cheetham Hill; Langworthy Road; Leicester Road; Mocha Parade; Bolton Road; Irlams O’ Th’ Height; Hope; Monton; Patricroft; Peel Green; Boothstown; Little Hulton; Higher Irlam; Lower Irlam; Cadishead; Regent Road; Ellenbrook); and
  3. other local shops.

Reasoned justification

4.36 If the plan is to contribute towards the creation and maintenance of sustainable communities it needs to ensure that each community can gain easy and direct access to a comprehensive range of local services and facilities. New retail, leisure, social and community development will be primarily directed towards existing town and neighbourhood centres, reflecting the accessibility of such centres by a choice of transport modes and the opportunities that the development would present for linked trips. Development that is required to meet purely local need will also be required to be accessible by walking and cycling, in the interests of social inclusion. The city's town and neighbourhood centres are defined in full in Policy S1 'Retail and Leisure Development Within Town and Neighbourhood Centres', and are identified on the proposals map.

Policy ST 10

Recreation Provision

A comprehensive range of accessible recreation opportunities will be secured through the:

  1. protection, improvement and, where appropriate, reorganisation of existing recreation sites;
  2. development of a Regional Park;
  3. development of a network of Key Recreation Areas;
  4. provision of new recreation facilities on sites allocated for this purpose in the UDP;
  5. development of a series of Local Nature Reserves;
  6. improvement of access between urban areas and the Urban Fringe and Countryside, in particular through the network of existing and proposed Strategic Recreation Routes; and
  7. use of planning obligations to provide new and enhanced recreation facilities.

Reasoned justification

4.37 Provision of a comprehensive range of accessible, good quality recreation facilities will support urban regeneration, promote social inclusion and improve the quality of life for residents of, and visitors to, the city. The approach to recreation taken in the UDP is based on a comprehensive audit of urban open space carried out in 2001/2, and a playing pitch assessment carried out for sports pitches in 2000/1.

4.38 The city already has a wide variety of recreational assets worthy of protection, such as recreation centres, playing fields and other sports facilities, but there is considerable scope for improvement in terms of quantity, quality and accessibility. A number of Key Recreation Areas have been identified which will provide an important focus for improvement activity but there is also considerable scope for developing the open recreational use of Salford’s countryside, particularly for informal recreational pursuits such as walking and cycling. Much of this will contribute to the establishment of a Regional Park, stretching into the neighbouring areas of Bolton, Bury, Trafford and Wigan, which will provide a major facility for the city and conurbation. Where appropriate, additional recreational provision will also be sought as part of new developments, for example, through the provision of children’s play areas, sports facilities or areas of open space as part of new housing developments. The Red Rose Community Forest will also have an important role in the improvement of recreational opportunities for Salford’s residents.

Policy ST 12

Development Density

Development within the regional centre, town centres, and close to key public transport routes and interchanges will be required to achieve a high density appropriate to the location and context.

Reasoned justification

4.43 Increasing development densities in locations that are accessible by a choice of transport modes will avoid the inefficient use of land, help to maintain local services and facilities and contribute to an area’s vitality and viability.

4.44 The Regional Centre (including the Chapel Street, Salford Quays and Ordsall Lane Riverside Corridor mixed-use areas) and the town centres, together with other locations that are well served by public transport, will provide the main focus for higher density development. This reflects the accessibility of such areas by public transport, walking and cycling, their prominence, and their ability to accommodate higher density development. The density of residential development will also be controlled by Policy H1 'Provision of New Housing Development' of the UDP, and the allocations in Policy H9  'Sites for New Housing' set minimum densities for specific sites.

Policy ST 13

Natural Environmental Assets

Development that would result in an unacceptable impact on any of the city's natural environmental assets will not be permitted.

Reasoned justification

4.45 The city contains many assets which contribute towards its overall biodiversity and natural environmental quality. These include the Mosslands, Sites of Biological Importance, wildlife corridors, and other areas that are or could become important for wildlife; the city's many water features such as the River Irwell, streams, reservoirs, lakes and ponds; extensive areas of trees and woodlands; and large tracts of best and most versatile agricultural land.

4.46 These assets are worthy of protection in their own right and it is important that they should not be unnecessarily lost or damaged as a result of development.

Policy ST 14

Global Environment

Development will be required to minimise its impact on the global environment. Major development proposals will be required to demonstrate how they will minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

Reasoned justification

4.47 Actions taken at the local level can contribute towards the global environmental situation, particularly in terms of climate change. Major developments in particular have the potential to generate greenhouse gases that contribute towards global warming, for example due to increases in car usage or the use of energy for heating and lighting that is provided by the burning of fossil fuels.

4.48 Where major developments are proposed, developers will be required to demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable steps to keep greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum. This might include taking measures to reduce car dependency for staff and visitors to the development, the more efficient use of energy through high standards of insulation or the use of renewable energy sources, and the adoption of sustainable waste management practices.

Policy ST 15

Historic Environment

Historic and cultural assets that contribute to the character of the city will be preserved and, wherever possible and appropriate, enhanced.

Reasoned justification

4.49 The city has a rich variety of historic and cultural assets that reflect its origins in the industrial revolution. These include over 270 listed buildings, 16 conservation areas, 3 ancient monuments, 2 registered parks and gardens, and important historic waterways such as the Bridgewater Canal, which together with Worsley Village forms the basis of a bid for world heritage status. The protection of these important historic assets will help to maintain the individual character and identity of certain parts of the city, support tourism development, and project a positive image of the city, which in turn will support economic development and other investment initiatives. In considering proposals for housing clearance, regard will be had to the desirability of retaining buildings and areas of historic character.

Policy ST 17

Mineral Resources

Known mineral resources will be safeguarded, and their exploitation will only be permitted where:

  1. there are no appropriate alternative secondary sources; and
  2. the environmental impact of mineral workings is minimised.

An adequate supply of aggregates will be maintained.

Reasoned justification

4.53 Minerals are essential to the city's economy and it is therefore important to ensure that they are safeguarded from unnecessary sterilisation due to other forms of development. Peat and clay are the only primary minerals currently being worked in the city, although there are potentially workable deposits of sand and gravel on the city's western boundary, and an outstanding permission for open cast coal mining at Cutacre in the north-west of the city.

4.54 Primary minerals are a non-renewable resource and it is therefore important to ensure that their extraction is carefully controlled particularly where there may be suitable secondary alternatives. Mineral working can also have significant environmental impacts in terms of loss of natural habitats or disturbance to residential communities and it is therefore also important to ensure that, where mineral working does occur, firm environmental safeguards are in place. In some circumstances, mineral working also has the potential to provide environmental benefits, for example in the restoration of derelict land and in the creation of wildlife habitats. Such benefits will be taken into account when assessing the overall environmental impact of minerals proposals.

4.55 It is a requirement of national minerals planning guidance that a 7-year “landbank” or stock of planning permissions for aggregate workings is maintained in order to ensure a steady and regular supply of aggregate minerals to the construction industry. The city does not have an individual landbank, as the calculation of the supply of aggregates is combined between Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Warrington and Halton through the 'North-West Regional Aggregates Working Party'. Consequently, its contribution and needs are taken into account at the sub-regional level. Presently, the sub-regional landbank is substantially in excess of that needed to provide for a 7 years supply. The council will have regard to the landbank when considering relevant planning applications.