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Ordsall Wilburn Street developer gets £42.5m handout from GMCA

Developers behind a new 491-flat tower block on wasteland in Ordsall have been given backing to the tune of £42.5 million by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

WB Developments (Salford) Ltd were given permission by Salford City Council in November 2015 to start work on the residential scheme at the disused Wilburn Street canal basin.

Renaker head Daren Whitaker is listed as the firm’s sole director.

Renaker are behind a number of large ongoing Salford developments.

They got £35m from the Homes and Communities Agency in 2014 to build Salford’s One Greengate tower block of 497 flats for private rent.

Read: £50m Greengate tower blocks get green light in Salford

Revealed: A Salford skyscraper to rival Beetham Tower?

Directly to the north of the site is the £700m Middlewood Locks development, which will see 2,000 homes built on derelict land over the next five years.

Read: First phase of 570 homes at £700m Middlewood Locks gets green light

Read: http://salfordonline.com/9142-chancellors-praise-as-salfords-middlewood-locks-draws-down-china-investment.html

The canal basin is sandwiched between Regent Road retail park and Ordsall Lane on one side, and Trinity Way on the other.

In recent years it has become derelict and vandalised and despite being a useful river towpath into Manchester is rarely frequented by pedestrians.

Wilburn Street Renaker Build Ordsall

Traditionally industrial land surrounded by mills, warehouses and later Salford’s most famous brewery Groves and Whitnall, the site was constructed by Salford Corporation in 1864 as a mooring point for boats carrying ‘night soil’ (human waste) out of Salford’s centre to the fields of Chat Moss in Irlam.

WB’s scheme, designed by Salford architects OMI, includes plans for 58 one-bed, 390 two-bed, and 43 three-bed flats across the 8 to 21 storey blocks arranged around a communal courtyard, and will include 670sq m of commercial floorspace.

Section 106 developer’s fees were calculated to be £749,900.

But because WB Developments has committed to building a pedestrian footpath from Ordsall Lane through the centre of the site to the basin where it links to the Irwell – noted in council planning statements as “a substantial piece of public realm” – they have agreed a figure of £470,000.

Additional Section 106 money totalling £1.63 million has been agreed with the council.

This derelict land was owned by Salford City Council, who had trouble marketing it for sale in the past.

Urban Vision offered companies the chance to express interest in the site in January 2013.

WB’s plans to improve the litter-strewn area include “incorporating industrial historical references within the public realm proposals reflecting the area’s past”, including the 1828 Emma disaster, where a cargo barge capsized just minutes after its much-vaunted launch onto the River Irwell, killing 47 of its 200 passengers.

The developers lodged the plans back in May 2014, followed by a public consultation in April 2014 at the nearby Campanile hotel.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority has now handed WB £42.5 million from the £300 million Greater Manchester Housing Investment Fund (GMHIF).

The GMHIF was created as part of the region’s devolution deal to help developers kickstart housing projects that would be otherwise difficult to fund because of caution in the residential finance market.

The authority said building affordable homes was “a top priority”

No detail has yet been given on the number of flats WB will make available for affordable rent.

Sue Derbyshire, Chair of Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Housing and Planning Commission, said: “Ensuring people in Greater Manchester can find an affordable home where they want to live is a top priority. I’m delighted that we’re able to play our part in supporting this project.

“These 500 new homes in Salford will improve peoples’ lives but crucially, will also help us to grow the Greater Manchester economy. That’s the benefit of being able to make decisions like this locally, here in Greater Manchester.

GMHIF has already invested £10.3 million in Rowlinson Developments’ 164-apartment Pomona Wharf scheme and £17.3m for FICM’s 380-apartment scheme on Trinity Way in Salford.

Main image by jrb via skyscrapercity.com

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.