Publication Local Plan, Chapter 11: Housing

Creating a fairer Salford by:

  • Significantly increasing the supply of affordable homes across the city, helping to meet the needs of those on low incomes
  • Ensuring a diverse mix of high quality accommodation of different types and tenures, so that everyone can find a suitable home
  • Supporting the delivery of specialist accommodation, including for older residents, in a way that enables people to remain within their existing communities
  • Requiring new homes to meet good space standards and be designed to adapt to changing needs

11.1 If Salford is to be successful in the long-term then it will be essential that the quality, adaptability and affordability of its housing are improved. This applies as much to the dwellings that already exist as it does to the new homes that will be constructed during the Local Plan period. Salford’s population has grown by around 17% since 2001 [1], whilst a 12% increase is forecast over the plan period [2]. This plan does not specify the scale of growth that should be accommodated over the next few decades, and it will be the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) that will identify the annual housing requirement for Salford. However, until the GMSF is adopted, in accordance with national guidance, the housing target for the city will be the Local Housing Need figure calculated using the latest published Government methodology. As of 31 December 2019, this is 1,370 dwellings per annum [3].

11.2 It will be important to ensure that everyone is able to access suitable accommodation to meet their needs at a price they can afford. This raises a variety of issues around securing an appropriate mix of different types and tenures of housing across the city, including increasing the delivery of affordable housing. It will be vital that new and improved homes are set within high quality places that provide an attractive living environment, and support better health. Different parts of the city have quite different housing roles, with locations such as City Centre Salford and Salford Quays characterised by high-density apartments, whereas some other parts of the city are distinguished much more by lower density houses.

11.3 The wider impacts of new housing also need to be taken into account, with a strong emphasis on using land efficiently (policy EF1) and minimising greenhouse gas emissions (policy EG1), as well as with dealing with the infrastructure implications such as transport (chapter 15), education places (policy ED2), health and social care facilities (policy HH2), green infrastructure (policy GI1), and recreation facilities (policy R1).

Type of new homes

11.4 It will be important to ensure that a good range of housing comes forward across Salford, in order to meet the diverse needs of different types of household such as singles, couples and families with children. The type of housing that different types of household occupy is constantly changing, and in recent years there has been an increasing tendency for smaller households to occupy apartments rather than houses. This is likely to be due to a range of factors including affordability, the central location of many apartments, and lifestyle choices. This trend is expected to continue, but it will still be important to secure new houses as well as apartments, in order to accommodate a full range of households, and enable people to remain in Salford as their housing needs change.

11.5 Some sites in the city will be much more appropriate for apartments than houses due to their location, context and characteristics, such as City Centre Salford and Salford Quays, which have a key role at the sub-regional level in providing a large number of high quality apartments, and potentially also town centres, local centres and other areas with very high levels of accessibility. The fact that some sites will only deliver apartments means that it will be necessary for many other sites to provide high proportions of houses in order to achieve a good overall choice of dwellings across the city. Hence, it is appropriate to seek to maximise the number of houses coming forward on many sites.

Policy H1 - Type of housing

Individual new residential developments shall contribute to the provision of a broad mix of housing options across Salford and within the local area, ensuring that identified housing needs can be met. This includes:

  1. Within City Centre Salford, Ordsall Waterfront, Salford Quays and the other town centres, incorporating ground floor duplexes and other larger dwellings where practicable that enable a wider range of households to live in these locations; and
  2. Within the rest of the city, providing at least 80% of the net increase in dwellings in the form of houses, with a lower proportion of houses only being acceptable where:
    1. The proportion of houses, and other dwelling types with at least three bedrooms and private amenity space, is still being maximised as far as possible; and
    2. At least one of the following apply:
      1. It can be clearly demonstrated that the site has distinct characteristics that make a higher proportion of houses inappropriate or impracticable to provide, such as financial viability, flood risk or design context;
      2. The development provides specialist accommodation, such as for older people, or there is a demonstrable need for different types of dwellings; or
      3. The minimum density requirements in Policy H3 can only be met through a higher proportion of apartments.


For the purposes of this policy, a dwelling is defined as a self-contained unit of accommodation. Self-containment is where all of the rooms (including the kitchen, bathroom and toilet) in a household’s accommodation are behind a single door and are not shared with other households. A cluster of non-self-contained household spaces at the same address is counted as a single dwelling. Therefore, a dwelling can consist of one self-contained household space, or two or more non-self-contained household spaces at the same address. A house is specifically defined as:

  1. Self-contained residential accommodation with direct access from the ground floor and no adjoining accommodation either above or below, such as detached, semi-detached, terraced, townhouse and mews dwellings;
  2. Other forms of self-contained residential accommodation that would have a similar function to the above in category (i), having regard to the size and layout of their internal and external space, particularly in terms of the likelihood of them being occupied by households with children.

Figure 9: Dwelling mix in individual developments

Size of new homes

11.6 A good mix of dwellings in terms of size will be required if the full range of housing needs in Salford is to be met. Size is partly related to the type of new homes discussed above, with houses typically providing larger internal space than apartments. As with dwelling type, the balance of dwelling sizes can vary considerably over time, depending on changing preferences of residents and wider housing market conditions.

11.7 Smaller dwellings have an important role in meeting housing needs and enabling more people to secure their own home, whilst reducing the amount of land that is required to accommodate new housing. However, smaller dwellings are generally less adaptable and will only be able to meet the requirements of some households. If too many are provided then this could restrict the type of households that are able to live in Salford and the ability of people to remain in their home or find a new home within the same community as their needs evolve. Controls over the mix of dwellings sizes are therefore necessary. The fact that it is often impossible to increase the internal size of an apartment once constructed heightens the importance of ensuring that new apartment developments offer a range of sizes that are flexible enough to meet a variety of needs.

11.8 Good internal space standards, both in new dwellings and conversions, are vital to ensuring that people can access decent housing and hence to delivering a fairer and more inclusive Salford. Inappropriately small homes can negatively impact on health, and so minimum size standards are required. More spacious dwellings can also allow more people to work from home, thereby supporting economic growth whilst minimising the need to travel.

Policy H2 - Size of dwellings

Residential development shall deliver a balanced mix of dwelling sizes across Salford, enabling people to access housing with sufficient space to meet their needs and support good health.

Number of bedrooms

All developments providing net additional dwellings shall deliver a range of dwelling sizes in terms of the number of bedrooms.

In new developments providing apartments, a minimum of 50% of the apartments shall contain at least two bedrooms. A lower proportion may be permitted where it can be clearly demonstrated by the applicant that smaller accommodation is required to meet an identified local need of acknowledged importance, such as the provision of affordable housing (in accordance with the definition of affordable housing in Annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework or any subsequent definition), housing for older people or other specialist accommodation.

Space standards

In the following cases, the gross internal floor area of new dwellings shall as a minimum meet the nationally described space standards (or any subsequent standards):

  1. All dwellings in new build developments, including dwellings in build to rent schemes
  2. Where practicable, having regard to the physical constraints of the existing building, changes of use and conversions

A summary of the nationally described space standards is shown in the table below, and the full standards are at Annex A of this Local Plan.

Table 1 - Minimum gross internal floor areas and storage 

*Where a 1b1p has a shower room instead of a bathroom, the floor area may be reduced from 39 square metres to 37 square metres, as shown bracketed. 

Garages, balconies, buildings detached from the main dwelling, and communal areas shared with other dwellings, do not contribute towards meeting the minimum space standards. Built-in storage areas are included within the overall minimum gross internal areas.

The nationally described space standards will not be applied to purpose-built student accommodation, hotels, residential institutions (including secure institutions), and dwellings with furnished layouts [4]. Developments that do not meet the minimum space standards because they incorporate furnished layouts will be permitted subject to a condition or planning obligation requiring them to be first occupied and retained in perpetuity as furnished accommodation. For the purposes of this policy, a dwelling will only be considered to have a furnished layout if it incorporates all furniture that is likely to be required by a typical household occupying the dwelling.

Houses in multiple occupation 

The nationally described space standards will not be applied to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). All HMOs shall instead meet the minimum room size and amenity standards set out in the city council’s published handbook for such properties, where practicable having regard to the physical constraints of the existing building.

Density of new housing

11.9 The appropriate minimum density of new housing will vary across the city, but many areas will require some increase in densities in order to deliver a sustainable Salford. Enabling more people to live in locations that are well-served by public transport and have good access to local facilities such as town and local centres will support the achievement of goals that are partly reliant on reducing road traffic, such as lowering climate change emissions and enhancing air quality, as well as promoting a higher quality of life. Making the most efficient use of land will also help to minimise, both now and in the future, the need to release parts of the Green Belt to meet development requirements for housing and employment premises.

11.10 Density considerations need to be assessed alongside the aim of delivering an appropriate mix of dwelling types and sizes. It should be possible to construct houses at densities up to around 70-80 dwellings per hectare, with apartments typically being required to achieve higher densities, and so the minimum density requirements should not prevent compliance with the type and size requirements in policies H1 and H2 on most sites.

Policy H3 - Housing density

New residential development shall achieve the minimum densities in the table below:

Location (use the highest density that applies when a site falls within more than one location) Minimum net residential density (dwellings per hectare)
Within the location Within 400 metres Within 800 metres

Designated centres:

City Centre




Town centres




Local centres




Public transport stops:

Salford Central Station, Salford Crescent Station and all Metrolink stops




Eccles Station




Irlam Station, Swinton Station, Walkden Station and other rail stations with a frequent service [5]




Existing or potential bus stops on main bus corridors [6]




Areas within GMAL 6 and above [7]




Minimum net residential density of 35 dwellings per hectare in all other locations

Lower densities will only be acceptable where they can be clearly justified by:

  1. Local housing market issues, such as a demonstrable need for a particular type of housing that cannot be delivered at a higher density and would otherwise not be met; or
  2. Site-specific issues, such as the design context and any potential impact on the wider landscape or townscape including heritage assets and their setting.

Affordable housing

11.11 Housing affordability in Salford is worsening and is a major challenge for many households. Housing costs can place significant pressures on household finances, particularly for those on low incomes or in insecure employment. Significantly increasing the supply of affordable housing is therefore a key priority, and a vital component of delivering a fairer Salford.

11.12 In recent years, Salford has been very successful at attracting large levels of new residential development, but there has been widespread public concern about the low proportion of affordable homes that have been delivered in private sector developments and, in particular, the large number of schemes that have provided no affordable housing at all.

11.13 As of 1 September 2019, there were 6,514 households on the housing register seeking affordable housing in Salford, with the vast majority of these being in priority need. Using the methodology in the national planning practice guidance, the 2019 Greater Manchester Strategic Housing Market Assessment [8] identifies a need for 613 affordable homes per annum in Salford if the backlog of need were to be addressed over the next five years.

11.14 Given this scale of need and the fundamental right of people to have access to a decent home at a cost they can afford, it will be necessary for all major housing developments to support the delivery of new affordable homes as far as possible [9]. This will be vital to ensuring that inclusive communities are achieved and housing needs are met.

11.15 In light of these issues, the city council considers that at least 20% of new dwellings on every major residential development in Salford should be in the form of affordable housing wherever possible (including in build to rent (see Policy H5)) and purpose-built student housing (see Policy H7) schemes). This will help to deliver a continued supply of new affordable homes to meet the substantial need that has been identified, whilst also supporting diverse neighbourhoods and enabling households of varying means to stay within or close to their community.

11.16 Government policy [10] states that where major development involving the provision of housing is proposed, planning policies and decisions should expect at least 10% of the homes to be available for affordable home ownership, as part of the overall affordable housing contribution from the site. Having regard to the characteristics of households in need and the existing tenure mix, taking such an approach in Salford would significantly prejudice the ability to meet affordable housing needs in the city and hence is not appropriate. Instead, the tenure mix of the affordable housing should typically be three-quarters for rent (evenly split between social rent and affordable rent) and one-quarter for shared ownership. Other forms of affordable home ownership will typically only be appropriate where viability is especially challenging. This approach will help to ensure that there is a diverse range of new affordable homes coming forward in the city to meet a variety of needs whilst being targeted particularly at the high proportion of households in need who are unable to afford any model of home ownership.

11.17 The strategic viability assessment [11] that has been produced by the city council suggests that delivering 20% affordable housing for some types of residential development in some parts of the city may be very challenging. This is based on a range of assumptions that may vary on individual sites, with some developments being more viable and some less viable than indicated in the assessment depending on factors such as the specific site characteristics, the funding model and tendering process for the development, and the market conditions at the time. This variability in viability, both between sites and over time, means that it is appropriate that the assessment is the starting point rather than the only determinant of the affordable housing policy.

11.18 The use of a minimum figure of at least 20% across Salford helps to clarify the expectation that all major developments will make an appropriate contribution to meeting a range of housing needs including those requiring affordable homes. Where viability is more challenging, there may still be opportunities to achieve the 20% figure, including by attracting funding from third parties such as registered providers and through the use of affordable housing tenures that require lower subsidies. Nevertheless, there will be situations where it is appropriate to reduce or even waive the affordable housing requirement, and/or agree an affordable housing tenure mix with higher levels of affordable home ownership than would normally be appropriate, due to the specific circumstances of the development and where the benefits of providing new homes outweigh the lack of compliance with the affordable housing policy requirements.

11.19 The strategic viability assessment indicates that viability is sufficiently strong in some parts of Salford to support more than 20% affordable housing in new residential developments. These are the areas with the highest house prices in the city, and hence where the provision of affordable housing is especially important if a diverse range of people are to be able to access a suitable home within them. Hence, it is appropriate to set higher minimum requirements than 20% in such areas in order to deliver sustainable communities and maximise the provision of new affordable homes to address the identified need within Salford.

11.20 Although the affordable housing requirements in this policy only apply to major developments in accordance with Government policy, the delivery of affordable housing on smaller schemes is strongly encouraged. The city council will work in partnership with registered providers, Homes England, developers and landowners to maximise opportunities for affordable housing delivery across Salford.

Policy H4 - Affordable Housing 

A significant improvement in the availability of affordable housing in Salford will be delivered through a combination of public funding, investment by registered providers, and developer contributions, enabling people to find a home at a cost they can afford.

Minimum affordable housing requirements 

All developments that provide 10 or more net additional dwellings, or are on a site of 0.5 hectares or more in size and provide any number of dwellings, shall deliver at least 20% of those dwellings as affordable housing. Within some of the value areas listed in the following table (and shown in Figure 10), developments shall deliver a higher minimum affordable housing requirement in accordance with that table (or any future update of the table published by the city council in a supplementary planning document in response to changing levels of viability).

Dwelling type Residential value area Minimum proportion of affordable housing






 All other value areas (Mid/high, mid, low/mid and low)


Mid-density apartments



All other value areas (High, mid/high, mid, low/mid and low)


High density apartments

All value areas


For the purposes of this table, mid-density apartment schemes are those comprising fewer than six storeys. High-density apartment schemes are those of more than 6 storeys.

All minimum affordable housing requirements shall be rounded to the nearest full dwelling once the relevant proportion has been applied.

Where there is evidence that a site or development has been artificially split in order to avoid policy requirements by being below the dwelling or site size threshold identified above, in accordance with Policy PC1 the city council will consider whether it would be appropriate to apply the policy requirements to each of the smaller sites individually irrespective of their number of dwellings or site area in order to secure the delivery of affordable housing in accordance with this policy.

Green Belt land is not covered by the value areas, as new housing development within the Green Belt that is in excess of the thresholds in this policy will by definition be inappropriate. If exceptional circumstances exist to justify such development in the Green Belt, then the proportion of dwellings that are affordable must be maximised.

A reduced proportion of affordable housing from the above requirements may be considered acceptable only where:

  1. It has been clearly demonstrated that all practicable options have been exhausted for delivering the minimum affordable housing requirement, including by partnering with registered providers and accommodating affordable homes financed through various sources such as Homes England, investment funds and commuted sums from other sites; and
  2. The requirements of criteria i-iv in Policy PC1 have been met.

The provision of affordable housing at higher levels than the minimum requirements of this policy will be strongly supported.

Tenure of new affordable housing

New affordable housing provision shall deliver the following mix of tenures to ensure that there is a diverse range of new affordable homes that meets the nature of the need within Salford:

Tenure Proportion of the affordable homes

Social rented


Affordable rented


Shared ownership


A different affordable housing tenure mix from the table above may be acceptable where there is clear evidence this would help to better meet specifically identified local needs and address site-specific circumstances.  The identification of any such need will be informed by discussions with the city council, and registered providers where they are to manage the affordable housing, having regard to the:

  1. Choice based lettings data from Salford Home Search [12];
  2. Characteristics of the households likely to be allocated to the affordable dwellings;
  3. Existing supply of affordable housing in the local area, including the size and type;
  4. Characteristics of the site;
  5. Scale of the proposed development;
  6. Level of local house prices and incomes; and
  7. Financial viability of the proposed scheme.

Type and size

Given that there is a demonstrable need for all types (houses and apartments) and sizes (bedrooms and floorspace) of affordable housing, in the first instance the city council will expect that the affordable dwellings shall reflect the dwelling mix across the development as a whole.

A different mix of types and sizes may be appropriate on an individual site where there is clear evidence that this would help to better meet specifically identified local needs and address site-specific circumstances. The identification of any such need will be informed by discussions with the city council, and registered providers where they are to manage the affordable housing, and having regard to criteria A-G of this policy.

On-site and off-site provision 

The mechanism for providing the affordable housing shall be agreed with the city council, having regard to local factors and the desirability of delivering mixed communities. In some circumstances this will mean that on-site provision is most appropriate, whereas in other circumstances off-site provision or the payment of a commuted sum may enable the more effective delivery of affordable housing to meet local needs. The value of any commuted sum will be calculated on the basis of the above table, or any subsequent update in a supplementary planning document, and spent having regard to the latest evidence of need.


Within mixed-tenure developments, the appearance of the affordable dwellings shall be indistinguishable from the open market dwellings and shall normally be “pepper-potted”.

Small clusters of up to ten affordable dwellings will typically be acceptable given the practicalities of managing and maintaining units, although larger clusters may be appropriate where:

  1. A high proportion of units are affordable; or
  2. An identified Registered Provider considers that larger clusters are required to ensure the efficient and effective management of the affordable housing.

Where a registered provider is involved, the developer shall, unless otherwise agreed, build the dwellings to the specification of the registered provider.


The provision of affordable housing will be secured through a section 106 agreement. This will specify the timing of the delivery of any dwellings and/or payment of commuted sums. 


Early involvement of the city council and registered providers in site discussions and design is strongly encouraged, preferably at the pre-application stage, in order to ensure that affordable housing provision will meet relevant requirements and standards. 


Affordable housing is defined in Annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework. Homes for Affordable Rent shall be capped to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) Rates.

Social Rent and Affordable Rent housing, and affordable home ownership routes where public grant funding is provided shall include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision. For discounted market sales housing, provisions will be put in place to ensure housing remains at a discount for future eligible households.

The requirement for affordable housing set out in this policy does not apply to assisted living (extra-care) dwellings for older people. In build to rent developments, including co-living developments, affordable housing shall be provided in accordance with Policy H5. In purpose-built student housing developments, affordable housing shall be provided in accordance with Policy H7. All other types of self-contained residential development, as defined in policy H1, including general retirement dwellings shall provide affordable housing in line with this policy. Other housing that is not in the form of individual units of self-contained accommodation, as may be seen for example in care homes and nursing homes, will not be required to provide affordable housing.

Map of Salford: Residential value areas

Build to rent dwellings

11.21 Over recent years the city council has granted planning permission for a significant number of build to rent schemes, particularly in City Centre Salford and Salford Quays. Many of these schemes are currently under construction, with further schemes continuing to be proposed, demonstrating the demand for build to rent developments in Salford.

11.22 Build to rent can be an effective means of securing forward-funding for larger apartment developments in locations such as City Centre Salford, Salford Quays, Ordsall Waterfront, and the town centres. However, it will be important to ensure that build to rent adds to the diversity of housing options, and does not unduly dominate provision in these areas. There will also be opportunities for build to rent in other parts of the city, including for houses where this complements the delivery of owner-occupied and affordable dwellings, helping to meet the needs of different demographic and social groups.

11.23 As with other private developments, build to rent schemes will need to make appropriate provision for affordable housing, helping to deliver more inclusive communities and a fairer Salford. This will typically be in the form of affordable private rent, but the provision of, or financial contributions towards, social rent, affordable rent or shared ownership will also be appropriate where it is of at least a commensurate financial value.

Policy H5 - Build to Rent

The development of build to rent schemes will be supported, particularly in City Centre Salford, Salford Quays, Ordsall Waterfront and town centres. Build to rent schemes shall:

  1. As a whole be under common ownership and management control for the long term;
  2. Usually offer tenancies of three or more years to all tenants (except where this would interfere with planned refurbishment works), with tenants having the option to terminate at one month’s notice, after the first six months, without a break fee being payable;
  3. Comply with the space standards in policy H2 in the case of non-furnished developments; and
  4. Be consistent with the need to deliver a broad range of tenures across Salford and within individual areas, including owner-occupied dwellings.

All build to rent schemes on sites of 10 or more dwellings, or having an area of 0.5 hectares or more irrespective of the number of dwellings, shall provide a minimum of 20% of the dwellings in the form of affordable private rent, with these dwellings being:

  1. At a rent that is at least 20% less than the local market rent [13] (inclusive of service charges) for an equivalent dwelling;
  2. Maintained as affordable private rent in perpetuity;
  3. Distributed throughout the development and physically indistinguishable from the market rent homes in terms of quality and size; and
  4. Occupied by eligible households having regard to household income levels and local rent levels to address local affordable housing needs, as agreed between the city council and operator

A reduced proportion of affordable housing from the above requirement may be considered acceptable only where the requirements of criteria i-iv in Policy PC1 have been met.

Changes of use of existing buildings to uses that are similar in nature to build to rent, such as from purpose-built student housing, will be expected to comply with the above affordable housing requirements.

The change of affordable private rent dwellings to another tenure will be permitted only where:

  1. It is clearly impracticable to retain the dwellings in affordable private rent, for example because the build to rent development is being converted to owner-occupation; and
  2. The full value of the subsidy for the affordable private rent dwellings is recycled, potentially paid as a commuted sum to the city council, for reinvestment in the provision of affordable housing in Salford of a social rented, affordable rented and / or shared ownership tenure.


Built to Rent is defined in Annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Housing for older people

11.24 Ensuring that all age groups have access to suitable housing is an important aspect of delivering a fairer and more inclusive Salford. The latest projections produced by the Office for National Statistics indicate that around 44% of the population increase in Salford over the period 2019-2037 will be people aged 65 or over, equating to 13,600 people overall [14]. Similarly, the number of households in Salford in which the household head is aged 65 or over is forecast to increase by 38% over the period 2019-2037 [15].

11.25 This increase in older people and households in Salford is to be welcomed, but it is likely to present some challenges including in terms of ensuring that appropriate housing is available to meet everyone’s needs. The relationship between housing quality and health is especially important for older people, and so providing suitable accommodation for them has much wider benefits.

11.26 A key principle in meeting the housing needs of older people will be to maximise their ability to live independently for as long as they are able and wish to do so. It will also be vital that they feel empowered to make choices regarding their accommodation and housing-related services.

11.27 Although the majority of older people will live in mainstream housing, it is likely that new specialist accommodation such as sheltered and extra-care housing will be required during the Local Plan period, and such provision can help people to downsize and free up family houses for others. The precise amount and type of specialist accommodation required will depend on a range of factors including the choices of individual people and households. Incorporating such provision within larger housing developments will help to ensure a good range of housing for older people across the city, in mixed communities with good access to local facilities and services.

11.28 As well as considering housing needs, it will also be important to ensure that the requirements of older people are appropriately reflected in development more generally, for example in terms of the design of public spaces and the type of recreation facilities that are provided. This will help to ensure that all areas of the city embody the concept of “lifetime neighbourhoods” as far as practicable.

Policy H6 - Housing for older people 

A broad range of housing choices will be secured for older people in Salford, maximising their ability to live independent lives and retain control over their accommodation and services, including through:

  1. Requiring all new dwellings to meet the accessible and adaptable standards under requirement M4(2) of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010 for England (see Policy D7), except where it can be clearly demonstrated that this is impracticable due to site-specific constraints;
  2. Supporting the improvement of existing, and the development of new, specialist accommodation, including sheltered housing, extra-care housing, nursing homes and residential care homes.

New residential accommodation specifically targeted at older people will be supported where it:

  1. Is well-integrated with the wider neighbourhood;
  2. Offers easy access to community facilities, local services and public transport;
  3. Provides sufficient car parking for both occupiers (dependent on the nature of the development) and visitors (see policy A7);
  4. Is designed to reflect relevant best practice, including the Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) ten key design elements [16]:
    1. Space and flexibility;
    2. Daylight in the home and in shared spaces;
    3. Balconies and outdoor space;
    4. Adaptability and ‘care ready’ design;
    5. Positive use of circulation space;
    6. Shared facilities and ‘hubs’;
    7. Plants, trees, and the natural environment;
    8. Energy efficiency and sustainable design;
    9. Storage for belongings and bicycles; and
    10. External shared surfaces and ‘home zones’; and
  5. Where appropriate, provides a range tenures.

Given the increased scale of demand and the need to create mixed and sustainable communities, the incorporation of housing provision specifically targeted at older people within new residential developments will be strongly encouraged.


Older people is defined in Annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Student housing

11.29 The universities within the City Centre, including the University of Salford, are essential facilities that contribute to the economic growth and social advancement of Greater Manchester. It is therefore important that appropriate housing is available to accommodate the students of those universities. Some of this accommodation will be open market housing (for example in shared houses or in private rented sector apartment schemes), but a large amount is likely to be designed specifically for students.

11.30 The provision of significant levels of on-site student accommodation is an integral part of the University of Salford’s vision for transforming its main Peel Park and Frederick Road campus. It will enhance the liveliness and successful functioning of the campus, thereby helping to attract and meet the aspirations of students. This will in turn support the university’s role as a key economic driver and educational facility. Consequently, this main campus is considered to be a priority location for new purpose-built student housing, along with that part of Salford Quays in close proximity to the university’s MediaCityUK campus where over 1,500 students are currently taught.

11.31 Given the central location of the university campuses, the need to minimise car use and the low levels of car ownership amongst students, it is vital that any off-campus student accommodation has very easy access to the campuses by walking, cycling and public transport. Student housing should also positively contribute to the character and quality of places, and avoid becoming a dominant feature. Within lower density housing areas there is much greater potential for it to negatively impact on neighbourhood character and so large numbers of student units are unlikely to be appropriate.

11.32 The future scale of demand for student accommodation is constantly evolving as it is influenced by a broad range of factors, including the overall quantity of accommodation, tuition fees, private sector rental levels and graduate employment prospects. It is therefore essential that any new off-campus student accommodation is designed to be easily converted to other uses if demand reduces. Early discussions with the University of Salford and Salford City Council on potential demand are encouraged.

11.33 Financial pressures on students have increased significantly in recent years. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has estimated that on graduation from a three-year course the average student debt nationally will be £50,000, with the figure increasing to £57,000 for students from the poorest backgrounds [17]. As a result, in order to promote equality of access to university education in accordance with the fairness theme at the heart of the Local Plan, it is appropriate to seek the provision of affordable housing in new purpose-built student accommodation, using a similar approach to that specified for build to rent developments in Policy H5.

Policy H7 - Student housing

New student housing in Salford shall be concentrated in the following locations:

  1. Within and immediately adjacent to the University of Salford campus at Peel Park/Frederick Road
  2. In close proximity to the University of Salford campus at Salford Quays, whilst ensuring that it does not detract from the important business, tourism, leisure and residential functions of the area

The limited provision of student housing elsewhere will be permitted where:

  1. It is of a modest scale, not exceeding 100 individual bedrooms/studios;
  2. It is located within easy walking distance of either the Peel Park/ Frederick Road or Salford Quays campuses of the University of Salford, or is very close to a public transport stop that has frequent and direct services with short journey times to either campus;
  3. It would be well-served by local shops and other services;
  4. It can be demonstrated that there is likely to be a demand for the accommodation from students, having regard to, amongst other things:
    1. Occupancy levels in existing student housing developments;
    2. Schemes for student housing with extant planning permission; and
    3. Any proposals for additional student accommodation within and immediately adjacent to the University of Salford campus at Peel Park/ Frederick Road, or in close proximity to the University of Salford Campus at Salford Quays;
  5. It can be demonstrated that the accommodation could easily be converted into mainstream housing through post-completion adaptation compliant with other planning policies, in the event that there is insufficient long-term demand for continued use as student housing;
  6. It would not have an unacceptable impact, either individually or cumulatively, on the character of the area or the amenity of existing occupiers; and
  7. In the case of mixed-use developments, it would be located within separate buildings from other residential uses.

New purpose built student housing schemes on sites of 10 or more bedrooms/studios, or having an area of 0.5 hectares or more irrespective of the number of bedrooms/studios, shall provide a minimum of 20% of the bedrooms/studios in the form of affordable private rent in accordance with the approach set out in Policy H5 (Build to rent). The affordable bedrooms/studios shall be allocated through a nominations process agreed with Salford City Council and the University of Salford.

A reduced proportion of affordable housing from the above requirement may be considered acceptable only where the requirements of criteria i-iv in Policy PC1 have been met.

Travelling people

11.34 It is important in delivering a fairer and more inclusive city that appropriate sites are available for travelling people. Salford is already well-served with such sites, with one site for gypsies and travellers at Duchy Road providing 25 pitches, and three sites for travelling showpeople at Lower Broughton, Duchy Road and Little Hulton collectively providing 87 plots. Nevertheless, the latest needs assessment [18] indicates that additional sites may be required for gypsies and travellers (both permanent and transit pitches) and travelling showpeople.

11.35 National planning policy states that criteria-based policies for the provision of sites for travelling people “should facilitate the traditional and nomadic life of travellers while respecting the interests of the settled community”, and that local planning authorities “should ensure that traveller sites are sustainable economically, socially and environmentally" [19]. A particularly important consideration for such sites in Salford is flood risk, as caravans, mobile homes and park homes intended for permanent residential use are identified in national guidance [20] as highly vulnerable uses that should not be located in flood zone 3 and must pass the exception test (see policy WA4) to be located in flood zone 2. Given the combination of storage, maintenance and residential uses, existing employment areas are likely to be the primary source of new travelling showpeople sites, as allowed for under policy EC1.

Policy H8 - Gypsies, travellers and travelling showpeople

New sites to meet the needs of gypsies and travellers and travelling showpeople will be supported where they:

  1. Have a lower than 1 in 100 year risk of flooding;
  2. Have good access to local facilities and services;
  3. Are designed and laid out in accordance with best practice [21], including making adequate provision for the parking, servicing and turning of vehicles;
  4. Are properly serviced with the necessary utilities infrastructure;
  5. In the case of sites for travelling showpeople and transit sites for gypsies and travellers, are easily accessible from the strategic highway network; and
  6. In the case of sites for travelling showpeople, make adequate provision for storage and other business needs whilst ensuring that the amenity of residents both on the site and in the surrounding area is protected.


For the purposes of this planning policy, “gypsies and travellers” and “travelling showpeople” are defined in Planning policy for traveller sites [22]

Figure 11 - Existing gypsy and traveller sites

Custom, self-build and community-led housing

11.36 Custom, self-build and community-led housing can play a role in increasing housing supply and housing choice, as part of a wider package of measures to secure greater diversity in the housing market, as well as helping to deliver the homes people want. However, groups and organisations who want to bring forward such developments face a range of challenges, in particular they may struggle to access suitable land.

11.37 Local authorities are required to hold a register of individuals and associations of individuals who express an interest in acquiring a serviced plot of land in the authority’s area for custom and self-build housing, and to give planning permission for enough suitable and serviced plots to meet that demand (there is however no such requirement for community-led housing). As of 30 October 2019 there were 36 individuals and 1 association of individuals made up of 4 members on the council’s register. By seeking to increase the availability of custom, self-build and community led housing plots, the following policy will help prospective housebuilders to develop their own housing, supporting the local economy by providing work for local builders and tradesmen, increasing the diversity of housing supply, and encouraging sustainable construction methods.

Policy H9 - Custom, self-build and community-led housing

A supply of suitable opportunities for prospective custom, self-build and community led housebuilders will be secured by:

  1. Favourably considering planning applications for custom, self-build and community-led housing where this is consistent with other policies, proposals and wider objectives of the Local Plan; and
  2. Encouraging developers of larger sites to make plots available for custom, self-build and community-led housing as part of their development.

The nationally described space standards as required by policy H2 shall apply to custom, self-build and community-led housing.


Self-build is where an individual (or an association of individuals) purchases land and builds their own house on a single plot. The individual or association of individuals may build the house themselves or employ a builder, architect and, if necessary, a project manager to oversee the build.

Custom housebuilding is similar to self-build but facilitated in some way by a developer. This still offers the chance to have a unique home, but through a more hands-off approach than a traditional self-build. Custom build can mean a single one-off home commissioned by an individual and built by a developer, through to a group of homes, built by a developer, but with considerable bespoke design for the individual.

Community-led housing is where people and communities play a leading role in addressing their own housing needs. It comprises the following three principles:

  1. A requirement that meaningful community engagement and consent occurs throughout the process. The community does not necessarily have to initiate and manage the development process, or build the homes themselves, though some may do;
  2. The local community group or organisation owns, manages or stewards the homes and in a manner of their choosing; and
  3. A requirement that the benefits to the local area and/or specified community must be clearly defined and legally protected in perpetuity.

The definition of community-led housing includes various forms of community-led housing such as cohousing, housing cooperatives, community land trusts, self-help housing, other Community Interest Company models, and non-profit self-build groups.

Conversions, changes of use and non-self-contained residential units

11.38 The high proportion of apartments in the supply of new dwellings in Salford makes it important to ensure that the supply of existing houses is protected and maintained as far as possible so that a good mix of housing opportunities is maintained across the city. The supply of new apartments will mean that there should be little need for existing houses to be converted into apartments, except where this is required to meet an unmet need in a particular local area.

11.39 There are a number of specialist residential uses that are essential to a successful society and sustainable communities, such as nursing homes, children’s homes and hostels. Finding appropriate and cost-effective accommodation that helps to integrate the occupants into the local community can be difficult, and the conversion of houses that are currently being used as single dwellings may sometimes provide the best opportunity.

11.40 It is important that conversions to such uses, and to more commercial uses such as offices and hotels, are carefully controlled so that they do not compromise the attractiveness of the wider neighbourhood as a residential location or the amenity of individual dwellings. Some uses can be quite transitory in nature, having a relatively rapid turnover of occupants, and consequently a high concentration of them can adversely affect the stability of a neighbourhood. Some uses can also increase the pressures on their surroundings and local infrastructure (such as electrical circuits and waste water systems), due to an increase in the number, or a change in the type, of occupants. It is beneficial if uses such as hostels, care homes and children’s homes can be spread across the whole city so that they are easily accessible for all communities, rather than being concentrated in a small number of locations.

11.41 The significant growth in the sharing economy in recent years has significant implications for the housing stock in Salford. The short-term letting of properties that have long-term occupants, such as when those occupants are on holiday, can help to secure the more efficient use of buildings and enable more people to visit the city. However, the more continuous use of housing for short-term letting reduces the supply of homes for permanent residents, and can result in worsening affordability. The greater intensity of activity often associated with short-term lets can also create amenity issues for neighbouring occupiers, detracting from the attractiveness of residential areas. Consequently, the city council will resist the use of dwellings for short-term letting where this prevents or is inconsistent with their occupation by permanent residents, except where they are designed specifically for this purpose such as in the form of serviced apartments.

11.42 It is important to note that some of the uses covered by the following policy may not always require planning permission for conversion from a single dwelling, because they may be subject to permitted development rights or the proposed use may be judged not to be materially different from the existing use. It will not be possible to apply this policy in such situations.

Policy H10 - Conversion and change of use of existing houses and new build residential developments of non-self-contained units

The conversion of existing houses into any of the following uses will be carefully controlled to ensure that a good supply of houses is maintained within Salford and the positive character of neighbourhoods is protected:

  1. Apartments
  2. Student housing
  3. Houses in multiple occupation
  4. Hotels and guest houses
  5. Residential institutions
  6. Hostels, children’s homes and similar uses
  7. Non-residential uses such as offices

Conversions to any of the above uses will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that the proposal would not, either individually or cumulatively with other completed developments and schemes with planning permission or prior approval:

  1. Have an unacceptable impact on the positive residential character of the surrounding neighbourhood, having particular regard to potential increases in:
    1. Noise and disturbance;
    2. On-street car parking;
    3. Waste management; and
    4. Population turnover levels that could reduce community stability;
  2. Result in the infrastructure capacity of the site or local area being exceeded; and
  3. Result in any house that is in use as a single dwelling being immediately adjacent to more than one property in any of the above uses (immediately adjacent properties include properties directly behind and opposite, as well as to either side).

New build developments of non-self-contained units of accommodation in categories C-G will be judged by the same criteria.

Except in the case of developments specifically designed as serviced apartments, the short-term letting of dwellings will not be permitted where this would result in them not being available for use as the primary residence of a household. This will be achieved, where appropriate, by:

  1. Taking enforcement action where short-term letting results in the material change of use of a dwelling
  2. Refusing planning permission for a change of use from a dwelling to short-term letting
  3. Applying conditions to new developments that prevents the short-term letting of dwellings within them

Some changes of use may constitute development but not require planning permission because of permitted development rights set at the national level. If there is evidence that such changes of use are having a significant negative impact on the character of residential neighbourhoods then the city council will introduce an Article 4 Direction covering part, or all, of Salford to remove the relevant permitted development rights.


Houses and a self-contained unit of accommodation are defined in policy H1.


The main indicators that will be used to monitor this chapter are:

Indicator Baseline position


Median house price to median gross annual workplace-based earnings ratio

Ratio in Salford for 2018 was 5.85 [23]

A ratio in Salford of less than 4.0

Supply of new affordable homes

224 new affordable dwellings completed between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019 [24]

A significant increase

Proportion of dwellings that are vacant

3.3% in April 2019 [25]

Reduce vacancy rate to below 3%

Supply of plots for self-build and custom housebuilding

6 plots granted to meet demand from those registered in the first base period (1 April 2016 to 30 October 2016) [26]

Grant sufficient planning permissions to match demand on the self-build and custom housebuilding register


[1] Office for National Statistics (June 2019) 2018 mid-year population estimates: 2001 population = 216,978, and 2018 population = 254,408

[2] Office for National Statistics (May 2018) 2016-based sub-national population projections. 2019 population = 255,800 and 2037 population = 286,800

[3] Based on the annual average growth in the 2014-based sub-national population projections for the period 2019-2029, and the 2018 ratio of median house price to median gross annual workplace-based earnings

[4] In accordance with the notes added to the Nationally Described Space Standards on May 2016 (point four), which states that furnished layouts are not required to demonstrate compliance with the standards. 

[5] Rail stations that are not named in the policy are not currently considered to have sufficiently frequent services for these higher minimum densities to apply, but this may change during the plan period as rail timetables and franchises are reviewed.

[6] This includes all stops on the Leigh-Salford-Manchester Busway

[7] GMAL is an abbreviation of Greater Manchester Accessibility Layer, which measures the accessibility of locations across Greater Manchester by walking and public transport. Areas are scored on a scale of 1-8, with 8 being the most accessible. GMAL scores are published online at

[8] Greater Manchester Combined Authority (January 2019) Greater Manchester Strategic Housing Market Assessment

[9] Paragraph 63 of the National Planning Policy Framework sets out that affordable housing should not be sought for residential developments that are not major developments. Annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework defines ‘major’ for housing developments as 10 or more homes, or the site has an area of 0.5 hectares or more. 

[10] Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (February 2019) National Planning Policy Framework, paragraph 64

[11] Salford City Council (January 2020) SLP: DMP - Assessment of residential viability

[12] Salford Home Search allows those who are eligible and registered as having a need for affordable housing to make a ‘bid’ for affordable properties when they become available for letting. Data that Salford Home Search provide includes the number of bid per property by size, type and location.

[13] Although Annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework sets out the requirement for the rent in affordable private rent schemes to be 20% less than the ‘local market rent’ (inclusive of service charges), the national planning practice guidance on build to rent (paragraph 003) identifies that affordable private rent should be set at a level that is at least 20% less than the ‘private market rent’ (inclusive of service charges). For the purposes of this policy it is considered that the two terms have the same meaning. 

[14] Office for National Statistics (May 2018) 2016-based sub-national population projections

[15] Office for National Statistics (September 2018) 2016-based household projections

[16] Homes and Communities Agency et al (December 2009) HAPPI – Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation, p.3 (see also p.38-39 of main document)

[17] Institute for Fiscal Studies (July 2017) Higher Education funding in England: past, present and options for the future

[18] ARC4 (July 2018) Greater Manchester Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showperson Accommodation Assessment Update 2018: final report

[19] Department for Communities and Local Government (August 2015) Planning policy for traveller sites, paragraphs 11 and 13

[20] Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (March 2014) Planning practice guidance: Flood risk and coastal change

[21] A Good Practice Guide for Designing Gypsy and Traveller Sites was published by DCLG in May 2008. Although this was withdrawn on September 2015, the city council considers that it remains a useful reference tool for considering the design and layout of gypsy and traveller sites.

[22] Department for Communities and Local Government (August 2015) Planning policy for traveller sites, Annex 1: Glossary

[23] Office for National Statistics (March 2019) House price to workplace-based earnings ratio, table 5c

[24] Salford City Council (2019) Housing Strategy and Enabling team monitoring data

[25] Salford City Council (April 2019) Extracted from Council tax database

[26] Salford City Council (November 2019) Self-build and custom house building annual monitoring report

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