Publication Local Plan, Chapter 4: A fairer Salford

4.1 The United Nations has identified 17 sustainable development goals to transform our world [1], and this chapter helps to ensure that the Local Plan fully supports their achievement:

Sustainable development goals

4.2 Delivering a fairer Salford is central to everything that the Local Plan is seeking to accomplish. As the city’s anti-poverty strategy explains:

“Salford has ambitious plans to become a modern global city and significant public and private investment over the last ten years has helped to create more new jobs and opportunities than ever before. But despite the success of the city’s continued growth, it is clear that not all of Salford’s residents are sharing in the benefits of this prosperity. The fact remains that significant levels of poverty continue to exist in many parts of the city.” [2]

4.3 Addressing this poverty is fundamental to achieving a fairer Salford. More broadly, it will be essential that everyone is enabled to take advantage of the opportunities within Salford and beyond, able to play a full part in society, and not held back due to their personal characteristics or identity such as disability, age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or social class. It will also be important that our focus is not just on the present, but that we ensure that decisions today open up rather than compromise the prospects of future generations.

4.4 Realising a fairer, more equal and more pleasant Salford will require a wide range of actions, cutting across many stakeholders and areas of work. Development activity has a key role to play in this, and hence the Local Plan seeks to maximise its potential contribution to an inclusive city. Foremost in relation to this is the need to respond urgently to the challenges of climate change.

An inclusive development process

4.5 Development is vital to delivering a fairer Salford, helping to meet essential needs and providing employment, leisure and other opportunities. However, too often people feel excluded from the development process, only having the opportunity to be involved when a planning application has been submitted, which can lead to a process characterised by objections rather than collaboration.

4.6 Early and continuous engagement of local stakeholders, including residents, can help to achieve greater ownership and acceptance of development. It also provides the potential to identify and incorporate opportunities to deliver social value outcomes. This more collaborative approach can provide benefits not just for local communities but also to developers, investors, and future occupiers, helping to speed up the development process, enabling new development to be better integrated into existing places, providing positive publicity, and supporting the long-term success of development.

Policy F1 - An inclusive development process

Developers are strongly encouraged to involve local residents, businesses and other stakeholders throughout the development process, including:

  1. Understanding the varied needs of residents, businesses and other stakeholders and how the development could help to meet them;
  2. Collaboratively drawing up development proposals with residents, businesses and other stakeholders particularly where they would involve the provision of public spaces or facilities, or would have a significant impact on the local area;
  3. Communicating with local residents and businesses throughout the construction phase, keeping them informed and minimising any adverse impacts on their usual activities; and
  4. Seeking feedback on how the operation and management of completed developments could be improved in order to maximise their positive contribution to the local area and address any adverse impacts.

Applications that can demonstrate early, proactive and effective engagement with the community shall be looked on more favourably than those that cannot.

Social value and social inclusion

4.7 If a fairer Salford is to be delivered, then it will be necessary for new development to take all practicable measures to maximise its wider social value and its contribution to social inclusion. The opportunities to deliver social value through new development arise throughout its lifecycle, including both the construction and operational phases.

4.8 A key aspect of this is economic inclusion, ensuring that residents share in the benefits of development and economic growth. Despite recent high levels of investment, Salford has an above average level of resident unemployment, and some of the major concentrations of job opportunities are located immediately adjacent to neighbourhoods suffering from low household incomes and poor health. Through the careful consideration of economic inclusion, for example by helping Salford residents into employment and/or training, new development can help to tackle deprivation by raising people out of poverty and reducing inequalities, whilst benefiting directly in terms of improved access to a larger, healthier and more highly skilled labour supply. The city council is particularly keen for employers to sign up to the City Mayor’s Employment Charter, which seeks to ensure that employers put Salford first, buy goods and services within Salford, and adopt the best possible working conditions.

4.9 The production of a Social Value Strategy for major developments provides a mechanism for thinking about how social value and social inclusion can be maximised, securing the implementation of suggested measures, and enabling the public to understand the positive impact that new development will have on their neighbourhood and community. The city council will positively engage with developers in the production and implementation of their Social Value Strategies, but the involvement of other stakeholders including local residents is also strongly encouraged in order to maximise their impact and the acceptance of new development.

Policy F2 - Social value and inclusion

All development shall be located, designed, constructed and operated so as to maximise its social value and contribution to making Salford a more socially inclusive city.

All major developments shall submit a Social Value Strategy at the planning application stage for the approval of the city council. A condition will be included on all relevant planning permissions to ensure the implementation of any approved Social Value Strategy, including requiring compliance with the relevant parts of the strategy to be confirmed prior to the commencement and the occupation of the development.

The Social Value Strategy shall identify how the development will support social inclusion and deliver social value throughout its lifecycle. This shall include demonstrating how the development will maximise its positive contribution to:

  1. Reducing inequalities in Salford and their adverse impacts on residents;
  2. The ability of local residents and vulnerable groups to fully participate in society;
  3. Inclusive places, in accordance with Policy F3;
  4. Economic inclusion, with positive consideration given to: 
    1. Ensuring that access arrangements cater for all needs, including maximising opportunities for walking and cycling;
    2. Promoting on-site employment opportunities to Salford residents;
    3. Providing training opportunities for Salford residents;
    4. Utilising local supply chains; and
    5. Signing up to the City Mayor’s Employment Charter; and
  5. Good mental and physical health, in accordance with Policy HH1.

For the purposes of this policy, social value is defined as the range of potential social, economic and environmental benefits to communities in Salford, including existing residents, businesses and other stakeholders in the local area.


Major development is defined as in The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015, as amended, or any successor to it.

Inclusive places

4.10 The way in which places evolve, and the role of individual developments within them, can have an enormous impact on levels of social inclusion. Places can open up opportunities for everyone to realise their potential, but they can also narrow down prospects and introduce barriers that prevent people from meeting their needs or enjoying active lives.

4.11 Enabling people to live healthier lives is a vital aspect of delivering social inclusion, particularly within Salford where there are significant health inequalities. The role of green infrastructure is especially important, encouraging people to spend time outdoors, contributing to the provision of high quality walking and cycling options that encourage active travel, mitigating pollution, reducing the adverse impacts of climate change, and more generally adding to quality of life, notwithstanding its broader environmental benefits such as in terms of enabling the movement of wildlife. This needs to be set within a broader strategy of delivering more walkable and cyclable streets.

4.12 Central to inclusive places is equality of accessibility and opportunity, enabling everyone to participate fully in society and people to remain in their homes and communities as their needs change. Relatively small modifications can have a significant impact on the ability of people to enjoy their local area, such as incorporating appropriate lighting to reduce the fear of crime, providing places for people to rest and socialise, and incorporating public toilets into large developments. Careful design can ensure that places are welcoming for all generations, for example by integrating play areas that encourage children to lead more active lives, avoiding unnecessary clutter that reduces the accessibility of the public realm for those with restricted mobility and minimising disorienting noise and lighting for those with dementia.​

Policy F3 - Inclusive places

All places and developments shall be as inclusive as possible, capable of adapting to a broad range of changing needs and delivering a high quality of life, where no one is potentially excluded because of disability, age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or social class. Achieving this will involve, where appropriate to the function of the area and relevant to the type of development:

  1. Developing and sustaining a distinctive local character, whilst enabling individuals to be confident in their own identity;
  2. Providing an attractive, safe and inviting environment and public spaces, free from excessive air and noise pollution;
  3. Integrating a high level of green infrastructure that raises the human spirit as well as contributes a variety of important environmental functions;
  4. Making it easy and attractive to walk, cycle and use public transport, with motor vehicles not being allowed to dominate;
  5. Offering excellent external connections, both through sustainable transport links and digital connectivity, that enable people to take full advantage of wider opportunities;
  6. Delivering a diverse mix of decent and adaptable homes, including affordable housing that enables everyone to meet their housing needs;
  7. Providing a varied choice of business accommodation, including for start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and spaces for innovation; and
  8. Incorporating a range of amenities and facilities to meet different local needs.

Fairness for all generations

4.13 The purpose of the planning system is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development [3], and the United Nations has adopted the Brundtland Commission’s definition of sustainable development as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” [4]. Hence, fairness between generations is at the heart of planning, and the Local Plan must aspire to leave the environment and society in a better position and not just the economy. In particular, it must be effective in addressing the ongoing climate emergency, which threatens the wellbeing of future generations.

4.14 Many different aspects of the Local Plan will contribute to fairness between generations, helping to ensure that the diversity of cultural and environmental resources is maintained and enhanced, and the prospects of younger and future generations are not diminished. For example, the requirements under Policy EG1 for enhanced energy efficiency requirements in new homes and under Policy A10 for the incorporation of electric vehicle charging points will help to reduce the city’s contributions to climate change, minimise energy costs for future generations, and lessen the need for potentially expensive retrofitting. The requirement for all developments to deliver a net gain in biodiversity under Policy BG2 and maximise the provision of green infrastructure under Policy GI1, coupled with the approach to Chat Moss set out in GI2 will help to enhance Salford’s environmental capital. Policy WA4 on flood risk, Policy WA5 on surface water and sustainable drainage, Policy D5 on amenity and Policy PH1 on air quality will all help to address pollution issues. More importantly, it is the collective implementation of the policies of the Local Plan that will help to ensure that development in Salford is genuinely sustainable and that the interests of future generations are properly protected and advanced.

Policy F4 - Fairness between generations

Development shall promote the interests of future generations, including by:

  1. Minimising carbon emissions and maximising carbon sequestration;
  2. Maximising the resilience of buildings and places, such as to the impacts of climate change;
  3. Enhancing environmental capital, such as through a net gain in biodiversity;
  4. Addressing pollution issues, such as by improving air and water quality, and tackling land contamination;
  5. Enabling cultural and place-based identities to flourish;
  6. Protecting and enhancing the city’s heritage assets; and
  7. ‘Future-proofing’ buildings and places, so as to minimise the need for future generations to pay for their retrofitting in response to changing technologies and environmental standards.


Indicator Baseline position Target
Major developments [5] accompanied by a Social Value Strategy at the planning application stage This is a new policy requirement. Social Value Strategy to be submitted with all major developments

4.15 Due to the cross cutting nature of this chapter, indicators identified within various chapters of the plan will be used to monitor the outcomes that this chapter is seeking to achieve. This will include the relevant indicators within the economic development, housing, health, accessibility, water, energy, green infrastructure and air quality chapters.


[1] Courtesy of Sustainable Development Goals 

[2] Salford City Partnership (February 2017) No One Left Behind: Tackling Poverty in Salford, p.1

[3] Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (February 2019) National Planning Policy Framework, paragraph 7

[4] Resolution 42/187 of the United Nations General Assembly

[5] Major development is defined as in The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015, as amended, or any successor to it.

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