8 Employment and the economy

Policy E 1

Strategic Regional Site, Barton

One, or a combination of any two, of the following types of development will be permitted on the Barton Strategic Regional Site (80.9 ha):

  1. a mix of light and general industry, warehouse and distribution, and ancillary offices and other uses;
  2. a multi-modal freight interchange, incorporating rail and water-based freight-handling facilities, and a rail link to the Manchester-Newton-le-Willows-Liverpool railway line;
  3. a sports stadium for Salford City Reds with a maximum capacity of 20,000 spectators, and appropriate enabling development.

A specific site for a sports stadium and appropriate enabling development within the Barton Strategic Regional Site is shown on the proposals map (as E 1C), and its development for any of the other uses identified above will only be permitted where:

  1. planning permission has been secured for the provision of a stadium for Salford Reds of suitable capacity on an appropriate alternative site within the city, with a realistic chance of implementation; or
  2. it has been clearly demonstrated that the provision of a stadium on this site will not realistically take place before the end date of the Plan.

Suitable types of enabling development include: hotels, bars and restaurants. Any proposals for other forms of development will be considered departures from the plan. Enabling development will be permitted subject to a requirement that it is part of a co-ordinated development including the stadium, each element of which shall be phased. The stadium will be expected to be constructed within an early phase.

Any development on the site will be required to:

  1. make an appropriate and proportional contribution to the provision of road infrastructure and services required to enable the development of the whole site and of UDP allocation E4/9, so as to ensure that there would be no unacceptable impact on the Strategic Route Network;
  2. secure improvements to public transport to the site including, if appropriate, contributions towards the provision of the physical infrastructure of a Metrolink line from Eccles to serve the site. The layout shall allow for the line to extend to the Trafford Centre and Trafford Park;
  3. minimise any adverse impact on visual amenity, and, in particular, on views and vistas in the area;
  4. support the enhancement of the Liverpool Road corridor between Eccles and Irlam;
  5. maintain the overall nature conservation interest of the site and, where practicable, retain and improve the wildlife corridor along Salteye Brook;
  6. have no unacceptable impact on local environmental quality, making adequate and appropriate provision for landscaping, noise mitigation, and lighting control;
  7. maintain the flood alleviation capabilities of Salteye Brook;
  8. provide for a Strategic Recreation Route alongside the Manchester Ship Canal, or, if this is not feasible, along a convenient line through or around the site; and
  9. make appropriate provision for the training and employment of local residents during the construction and/or operational phases of the development.

Development proposals will be required to demonstrate a co-ordinated and phased approach to the provision of their elements and the requirements listed above.

Reasoned justification

8.4 This substantial site lies between Eccles and Irlam, to the south of the A57 and immediately north of the Manchester Ship Canal. The vast majority of the site comprises previously developed land, although there are a small number of playing fields on part of it. Its size and location within the Western Gateway help to make it a development opportunity of importance to the whole conurbation. The site is designated in the Regional Economic Strategy as one of 25 strategic regional sites. The development of sites such as Barton is critical to the implementation of the Regional Economic Strategy, and it is intended that they should act as flagship developments for the North West.

8.5 The strategic nature of the site provides the potential for the generation of a significant number of jobs, helping to support the economy of the Western Gateway and wider conurbation, and the sustainability of local communities. The site’s location in relation to the strategic rail network, the Manchester Ship Canal and the motorway network, offers an excellent opportunity for the provision of a multi-modal freight interchange, which would assist in the more sustainable and efficient transportation of freight. It is considered that, the principle of a multi-modal freight interchange on this site accords with Policy A13 'Freight Transport' of this UDP (Freight Transport), but the details of any scheme would need to be fully consistent with that policy.

8.6 Salford City Reds Rugby League Club require a new stadium in order to provide modern, high quality playing and training facilities. The eastern part of the Barton Strategic Regional Site is considered to be the most appropriate location, relating well to the supporters of the club, and having good access to the motorway network, the potential to be well-served by public transport, and a sufficient land area to provide high quality facilities and any necessary enabling development. The current ground at the Willows in Weaste and Seedley is constrained by its location in a high-density housing area, and therefore redevelopment on this existing site is not considered to be appropriate or feasible. The new stadium is likely to require “enabling development” to secure its implementation. Such enabling development should seek to maximise community benefits of the stadium and to contribute to the achievement of the strategic objectives of the plan.

8.7 The significant scale of the site and the proposed development(s) means that development will be phased, and the whole site may not be built out within the plan period. Development of the site will be carefully controlled to ensure that provision of key elements such as land remediation, drainage, access, other infrastructure, public transport improvements and landscaping are provided at the appropriate time, and in order to ensure that early developments do not compromise the potential of the remainder of the site. The council will seek the provision of these elements by means of planning obligations and conditions under Policy DEV5 'Planning Conditions and Obligations'. It is anticipated that, relative to its enabling development, the stadium will be developed at an early stage.

8.8 All development will be required to make an appropriate contribution to the provision of transport infrastructure in the area where this is necessary to ensure that all development sites can be developed, and that earlier developments would not take up all of the available capacity of the transportation systems. Public transport improvements will be required to ensure that the site is fully accessible. In the longer term, there is potential to extend the Metrolink system to the Barton site and Policy A3 'Metrolink' highlights the need for further investigation of this route. The design of any development should allow for this Metrolink extension. If a formal decision to proceed with it is made, then any development that would generate a significant number of trips will be required to make an appropriate and proportionate contribution to the provision of its physical infrastructure.

8.9 A transport assessment will be required for all significant development proposals on the site, to ensure that these transportation issues are satisfactorily addressed and to demonstrate that there would be no unacceptable impact on the Strategic Route Network, including the motorway network.

8.10 It will be essential that development proposals have due regard to environmental considerations, for example in terms of the nature conservation, design, pollution control, and overall environmental quality. It will be important that any development supports the city council’s drive to enhance the Liverpool Road Corridor, in accordance with EN 23 'Environmental Improvement Corridors', particularly through high standards of design and landscaping. It is recognised that it may be difficult for certain forms of development to present an attractive frontage to Liverpool Road. In these circumstances it will still be important to minimise any negative impacts as far as possible, particularly through the siting, design and landscaping of development, and appropriate mitigation measures will also be required along other parts of this environmental improvement corridor, to ensure that the overall attractiveness of Liverpool Road is maintained and enhanced. The potential of the site to act as a wildlife corridor and to contribute to the achievement of targets in the Greater Manchester Biodiversity Action Plan should be maximised as far as is practicable.

Policy E 2

Innovation Park

Within the Innovation Park area shown on the roposals map, planning permission will only be granted for new development that contributes to the establishment and expansion of the Innovation Park, and incorporates significant elements of knowledge-based employment and/or education uses.

Reasoned justification

8.11 The creation of an Innovation Park to assist in the development of new businesses will be an important element in the continued economic development of the city. The Innovation Park will be based around the existing University Business Park, and will have strong links to the University of Salford, Salford College, and the new Albion High School. In order to support the establishment of the Innovation Park, only knowledge-based employment (such as offices, light industry, and research and development), education, and mixed-use developments incorporating a significant element of these uses, will be permitted. Minor developments involving existing firms and utilities not directly involved in these uses may be permitted, but land assembly and redevelopment for knowledge-based uses will be supported where opportunities arise. The establishment and expansion of the Innovation Park will also support the development of the Knowledge Capital, as sought by Policy E3 'Knowledge Capital' of this UDP.

Policy E 3

Knowledge Capital

A Knowledge Capital, consisting of a cluster of knowledge-based employment, education-related uses, cultural facilities, and other complementary uses, will be developed based around the internationally important University of Salford and linking through to the universities within the city of Manchester. The primary focus for development associated with the establishment of the Knowledge Capital will be the “Arc of Opportunity” as defined on the proposals map.

Within the Arc of Opportunity, there will be an emphasis on the provision of employment opportunities, particularly within the following sectors:

  1. financial and professional services, and other office-based uses;
  2. creative, cultural and media industries;
  3. communications;
  4. research and development; and
  5. higher education.

Development proposals should demonstrate how they accord with this emphasis, including through the balance of uses within the mixed-use areas identified under Policy MX1 'Development in Mixed-use Areas'. Within that part of the mixed-use areas that falls within the Arc of Opportunity, employment uses within the above sectors will be considered appropriate.

Reasoned justification

8.12 The continued expansion of the Regional Centre of Manchester and Salford as a Knowledge Capital, based around its four world class universities (including the University of Salford), is seen as a key component in supporting a step change in regional and national economic performance, potentially delivering 100,000 new jobs for the north west. The emphasis is on high growth businesses and knowledge intensive industries that can feed off, and support the retention and development of, intellectual capital.

8.13 The main concentration of activity of the Knowledge Capital will be in the area between the four universities, known as the “Arc of Opportunity” which includes a significant part of the Central Salford area, primarily in the Chapel Street mixed-use areas (Policy MX 1/1 and MX 1/2). Whilst a variety of land uses are considered appropriate within the mixed-use area, within the "Arc of Opportunity” it is important that development contributes to the success of the whole Knowledge Capital and to this end employment development should, wherever possible, be consistent with the land uses described above under Policy E3 'Knowledge Capital'.

8.14 The establishment and expansion of the Innovation Park, as sought by Policy E2 'Innovation Park' of this Plan, will also support the development of the Knowledge Capital.

Policy E 4

Sites for Employment Development

The following sites are allocated for employment development in accordance with Policy ST3 'Employment Supply':

Sites for Offices and Light Industry

  1. Woodrow Way, Cadishead (0.6 ha);
  2. land east of Lester Road and west of Carrfield Avenue, Little Hulton (1.1 ha);
  3. Frederick Road/Winders Way, Irwell Riverside (1.3 ha); and
  4. Lissadel Street, Irwell Riverside (0.7 ha).

Sites for Offices, Light Industry, General Industry, Storage and Distribution

  1. Fairhills Road/ Soapstone Way, Cadishead (2. 3ha);
  2. Gilchrist Road, Northbank, Cadishead (0.7 ha);
  3. Irlam Wharf Road, Northbank, Cadishead (10.3 ha);
  4. Nasmyth Business Centre, Eccles (1.8 ha);
  5. Boysnope Wharf, Irlam (14.8 ha);
  6. Agecroft Commerce Park, Pendlebury (15.2 ha);
  7. Holloway Drive, Swinton North (1.1 ha);
  8. Centenary Park, Weaste and Seedley (6.6 ha);
  9. land north of Eccles New Road and east of Stott Lane, Weaste and Seedley (0.8 ha);
  10. land south of Centenary Way, Weaste and Seedley (1.4 ha);
  11. land south of Pacific Way, Weaste and Seedley (0.7 ha); and
  12. land fronting Wharton Lane, Little Hulton (0.5 ha).

Reasoned justification

8.15 This portfolio of sites will help to ensure that the need is met for a supply of land and premises that can accommodate a wider variety of modern business requirements. All of the sites are considered to accord with the sequential approach set out in Policy ST11 'Location of New Development' of this UDP. Where they are not currently accessible by a choice of means of transport (particularly public transport, walking and cycling), they will need to be made so as part of any development, in accordance with Policy A1 'Transport Assessments and Travel Plans'. Some of the sites are in more sensitive locations, where residential and/or visual amenity are key considerations, and therefore they are not appropriate for general industrial and storage and distribution uses.

8.16 Appropriate office uses are those that currently fall within Class B1 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. Some sites may also be capable of accommodating forms of  employment development other than those specifically mentioned in the policy, and applications for these will be considered on their merits, having regard to other policies and proposals of the UDP.

Sites for offices and light industry

E 4/1. Woodrow Way, Cadishead (0.6 ha)

8.17 Development of the site for offices or light industrial purposes would complement adjacent industrial uses on the Fairhills Road industrial estate, whilst at the same time ensuring that the amenity of residential properties on Woods Road is not unduly affected. Given the site’s location adjoining the Lower Irlam Neighbourhood Shopping Centre, some form of community use or residential development would also be acceptable either as an alternative to, or as part of, a mixed use development incorporating employment provision.

E 4/2. Land east of Lester Road and west of Carrfield Avenue, Little Hulton (1.1 ha)

8.18 This site comprises remaining land on Lester Road Industrial Estate. Any development will need to take account of adjoining housing on Carrfield Avenue, be designed so as to maintain an acceptable level of residential amenity, and protect the adjoining wildlife corridor to the east.

E 4/3. Frederick Road/Winders Way, Irwell Riverside (1.3 ha)

8.19 This site lies close to Salford College and the University of Salford’s Frederick Road campus, and its development should contribute towards the creation of an Innovation Park in accordance with Policy E2 'Innovation Park' The development should comprise modern light industrial or office buildings of a high design quality set within a landscape framework, and be suitable for use by knowledge-based industries.

E 4/4. Lissadel Street, Irwell Riverside (0.7 ha)

8.20 A section of the site currently forms part of a car park, which will need to be rationalised to allow the development of the whole site. The site is within close proximity to Salford College and the University of Salford’s Frederick Road campus, where development should contribute towards the creation of an Innovation Park in accordance with Policy E2 'Innovation Park'. It also adjoins the line of the former Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal, which is subject to restoration proposals. Any development should therefore achieve a high standard of design as required by Policy CH7 'Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal' and Policy DES 6 'Waterside Development', and incorporate provision for knowledge-based industries in accordance with Policy E2 'Innovation Park'.

Sites for offices, light industry, general industry, storage and distribution

E 4/5. Fairhills Road/ Soapstone Way, Cadishead (2.3 ha)

8.21 Lying between established and recent employment developments along the southern side of Fairhills Road, this site is suitable for a range of employment uses. Any development will be required to safeguard the amenity of existing residential properties to the north side of Fairhills Road and the linear park to the south of the site.

E 4/6. Gilchrist Road, Northbank, Cadishead (0.7 ha)

8.22 This is a residual site within the Northbank estate that is suitable for the provision of a broad range of employment uses.

E 4/7. Irlam Wharf Road, Northbank, Cadishead (10.3 ha)

8.23 This site comprises residual land within the Northbank industrial estate that has the advantage of both direct access to Cadishead Way and a frontage to the Manchester Ship Canal. The canal frontage to the site is considered particularly suitable for provision of wharfage facilities that would maximise the use of the canal for bulk storage and distribution.

E 4/8. Nasmyth Business Centre, Eccles (1.8 ha)

8.24 This site comprises land to the rear of the business centre, with access off Lansdowne Road, which is also a residential street. The potential problems of loss of residential amenity caused by traffic generation might place limits on the nature and scale of employment development, unless an alternative access to Green Lane is provided through the business park.

E 4/9. Boysnope Wharf, Irlam (14.8ha)

8.25 The site currently incorporates a number of vacant sites, as well as some existing small-scale employment uses. The site is well-located at the end of Cadishead Way, immediately to the west of the Barton Strategic Regional Site (Policy E1 'Strategic Regional Site, Barton'), and benefits from the potentially attractive environmental feature of the River Irwell Old Course.

8.26 As with development at the Barton Strategic Regional Site, allocated under Policy E1 'Strategic Regional Site, Barton', all development will be required to make an appropriate contribution to the provision of transport infrastructure in the area to ensure that all development sites can be developed, and that earlier developments would not take up all of the available capacity of the transportation systems.

8.27 A range of employment uses would be appropriate on the site, including leisure, tourism and food and drink uses to the south of the River Irwell Old Course. Development should improve the appearance of, and public access to, both the River Irwell Old Course and the Manchester Ship Canal, as well as presenting a positive image at this gateway to Irlam. The role of the River Irwell Old Course as an important wildlife corridor and habitat should be protected and, where possible, enhanced.

E 4/10. Agecroft Commerce Park, Pendlebury (15.2 ha)

8.28 This allocation covers residual land on the Agecroft Commerce Park, where a number of employment developments have taken place in recent years. Other parts of the commerce park have the benefit of full or outline planning consent for industrial development, but have yet to be developed. The site has the benefit of direct rail access.

8.29 As part of any development, it will be necessary to safeguard the amenity of adjacent residential areas and maintain pedestrian access along the western site boundary. Improvements to the local highway network may be required in order for development to proceed, and these will be secured via a planning obligation in accordance with Policy DEV 5 'Planning Conditions and Obligations'.

E 4/11. Holloway Drive, Swinton North (1.1 ha)

8.30 This is a residual site within the Wardley Industrial Estate. Employment development will complement surrounding land uses.

E 4/12. Centenary Park, Weaste and Seedley (6.6 ha)

8.31 This site has excellent access to Trafford Park and the M602 Motorway, via Centenary Way. Part of the site will be required to facilitate the construction of the Broadway Link (Policy A 9/1) and a small part of the site may also be utilised to provide an extension to the Ladywell Metrolink park and ride facility.

E 4/13. Land north of Eccles New Road and east of Stott Lane, Weaste and Seedley (0.8 ha)

8.32 This site is situated within an established employment area and benefits from a prominent location on a major road frontage with access to Metrolink. Development for employment purposes will complement surrounding land uses.

E 4/14. Land south of Centenary Way, Weaste and Seedley (1.4 ha)

8.33 This site is located on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, and has excellent access to Trafford Park and the M602 motorway, via Centenary Way. Development that utilises the freight transport capacity of the Manchester Ship Canal would be encouraged.

E 4/15. Land south of Pacific Way, Weaste and Seedley (0. 7ha)

8.34 The site is located in the heart of the Broadway Industrial Area, to the west of Salford Quays. The site is in a relatively prominent location, bounded by Broadway and the Manchester Ship Canal, and its good accessibility will be further improved by the construction of the Broadway Link (see Policy A 9/1).

E 4/16. Land fronting Wharton Lane, Little Hulton (0.5 ha)

8.35 The site lies to the rear of an established industrial unit on the western boundary of the Lester Road Industrial estate, and incorporates a designated Site of Biological Importance (SBI) - Marsh and Pool at Greenheys (Policy EN 8/10).

8.36 The development of this land for employment purposes is contingent upon the nature conservation of the SBI being maintained, or recreated, and managed in accordance with a scheme to be secured by way of a planning obligation.

Policy E 5

Development Within Established Employment Areas

Within established employment areas, planning permission will be granted for the following types of development where they are consistent with other relevant policies and proposals of the UDP:

  1. the modernisation and refurbishment of existing buildings;
  2. the redevelopment of land and buildings for employment purposes;
  3. improvements to access, circulation, parking and servicing, particularly where this would foster sustainable transport choices;
  4. the environmental improvement of the area including, where appropriate, the landscaping of vacant sites; and
  5. improvements to property and personal security, where this is consistent with the need to maintain high standards of design.

Planning permission will only be granted for the reuse or redevelopment of sites or buildings within an established employment area for non-employment uses where:

  1. the development would not compromise the operating conditions of other remaining employment uses; and
  2. one or more of the following apply:
  1. the developer can clearly demonstrate that there is no current or likely future demand for the site or building for employment purposes;
  2. there is a strong environmental case for rationalising land uses or creating open space;
  3. the development would contribute to the implementation of an approved regeneration strategy or plan for the area; or
  4. the site is allocated for another use in the UDP.

Reasoned justification

8.37 There are a significant number of employment areas across the city, varying considerably in size, but all of which are an important source of local employment. A key element of the economic strategy for the city is the protection and improvement of these existing employment areas, and consequently restrictions will be placed on the loss to non-employment uses of sites and buildings within them.

8.38 Where sites and/or buildings fall vacant, and it can be clearly demonstrated to the satisfaction of the city council that there is little likelihood of securing appropriate employment uses there in the foreseeable future, positive consideration will be given to alternative non-employment uses, provided that these would not lead to the further erosion of the employment area, for example by creating pressure for greater restrictions on the operation of the remaining employment uses. However, where sites and buildings remain occupied, or there is a likely demand for them, proposals for redevelopment to non-employment uses will be resisted, except where this is required by the UDP, or as part of an approved regeneration strategy/plan, or a strong environmental case can be made for rationalisation.

8.39 Some employment areas contain significant levels of underused land, and their reorganisation and/or rationalisation may be appropriate, in order to free up land for new development. The city council will support the redevelopment of land and buildings within employment areas using its compulsory purchase powers where appropriate.

8.40 For the purposes of this policy, an established employment area is defined as site(s)/buildings(s) that are currently used, or where vacant were last used, for non-retail employment uses, and fall within one of the following categories:

  • any area with five or more adjacent business units;
  • any continuous site area of 0.5ha or greater; or
  • any building(s) with a floor area of 5,000 square metres or greater.