Creating a fairer Salford by:
8.1 Much of Salford is seeing pressure for development, but there are some areas where there are particularly high levels of interest. This chapter sets out policies specifically for those areas. Other parts of the city are also important, but the policies in the other chapters of this plan are considered to provide sufficient guidance to manage development within them.
8.2 The City Centre lies within both Manchester and Salford, and is already hugely important not just to the Greater Manchester economy but to the North of England more generally. It provides around 10% of all jobs in Greater Manchester, and is the primary focus for business, retail, leisure, culture and tourism activity in the sub-region. The Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy identifies that it will further strengthen as the most significant economic location in the UK outside London .
8.3 The City Centre is mainly contained within the inner relief road, but now extends beyond to surrounding areas such as Middlewood, Chapel Street and the Crescent in Salford, and NOMA, Ancoats, New Islington and Oxford Road in Manchester. Over recent years, there has been significant developer interest in areas within City Centre Salford (those parts of the City Centre that are located in Salford), with major office and apartment developments under construction and with planning consent.
8.4 The continued evolution of the City Centre will require a careful balancing of its various functions. The priority must be to protect its fundamentally important economic role, and so those areas of City Centre Salford that form part of the main central business district will need to be used predominantly for office, tourism and cultural development. However, there will still be scope for residential uses alongside this, taking advantage of the lifestyle opportunities that a City Centre location can offer, and supporting sustainability objectives by enabling people to live close to where they work and socialise.
8.5 It will be important for each part of City Centre Salford to have its own easily recognisable identity and function, providing a series of neighbourhoods that have a distinctive character but also contribute to a coherent and integrated City Centre. This neighbourhood character will be based not only on the uses within them, but also their heritage assets, green infrastructure, public realm, design, and local facilities.
8.6 The success of the City Centre depends on a wide range of factors. It is essential that it is easy to travel to and around it by public transport, cycling and walking, ensuring that the huge number of employment opportunities are accessible to residents across Greater Manchester and beyond, and providing an enormous labour market that is attractive to businesses. Investment in transport infrastructure serving the City Centre is ongoing and improved linkages and the removal of physical barriers will improve its connectivity with surrounding areas.
8.7 The density of development within the City Centre makes delivering a significant increase in the quantity and quality of the area’s green infrastructure a high priority, contributing to an attractive urban environment and helping to address issues such as the urban heat island, biodiversity and flood risk. All potential options to ‘green’ developments will need to be explored. The provision of a new Greengate Park will be fundamental to the future success of the eastern part of City Centre Salford, given the ongoing scale of development in that area, making a major contribution to quality of life and allowing people to connect with nature.
Development in City Centre Salford shall be fully integrated into, and contribute to the success and strong sense of place of, both the neighbourhood within which it is located and the City Centre as a whole, in accordance with the following:
Development shall maintain the wide range of uses in City Centre Salford, reflecting its importance within the wider City Centre, supporting its roles as a business location, tourism, cultural and leisure destination, centre of learning and knowledge, and home to a series of residential neighbourhoods:
In order to support the successful functioning of the City Centre, particularly in terms of facilitating people to travel to and around it by sustainable modes of transport, the following initiatives will be promoted and development shall not compromise their delivery, and where appropriate facilitate them:
In order to achieve the high environmental quality that is essential to the long-term success of the City Centre, development shall:
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8.8 Since the 1980s, Salford Quays has gradually been transformed from derelict docklands into a vibrant mixed-use area with well-established tourism, employment, retail, leisure and residential functions, taking advantage of the high quality environment and waterside setting. Balancing these various important functions will be a key challenge for the area’s continued success.
8.9 The development of MediaCityUK over the last decade has helped to establish a major cluster of creative, digital and media uses at Salford Quays, including a specialist campus of the University of Salford. Salford Quays also has a wider business function and is one of the primary office locations within Greater Manchester. There is significant demand for additional employment floorspace to support these important roles and the economic growth of Greater Manchester.
8.10 Salford Quays is one of the main tourism destinations in the sub-region, with the Lowry arts centre being the most visited attraction in Greater Manchester . There is potential to improve integration with surrounding tourism locations such as the City Centre, Old Trafford and the Trafford Centre in order to increase the attractiveness of Greater Manchester as a visitor destination. Salford Quays is also a residential neighbourhood in its own right, characterised by high density homes, with a large number of additional dwellings already permitted. The environmental quality of the area is a major contributor to its identity and success, and further enhancements will be sought.
8.11 The ongoing investment in the area’s public transport, walking and cycling network will help to reduce the proportion of trips made by private car. It will be important to maximise connections to the new Trafford Park Metrolink line to the south, which will provide further options. A much wider range of bus routes is needed, but the most effective way of enhancing public transport accessibility more widely is likely to be by securing high capacity rapid transit to rail stations in the City Centre, including Salford Crescent and Manchester Piccadilly. Although the emphasis must be on improving the use of more sustainable modes of transport, some highway improvements may also be required.
Development shall maintain the wide mix of uses in Salford Quays, with its business, housing, shopping, tourism/leisure, food and drink, and cultural roles all being managed in a mutually supportive way, reinforcing the area’s interest, vibrancy and identity, in accordance with the following:
In order to support the successful functioning of Salford Quays, including facilitating people to travel to and around it by sustainable modes of transport, and enhancing connections to the City Centre, the following initiatives will be promoted, and development shall where appropriate, enable and be coordinated with them:
Development shall maintain and enhance the high environmental quality of Salford Quays, which is central to the area’s success, including by:
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8.12 Ordsall Waterfront is situated in a strategically important location between two of Greater Manchester’s key economic areas and tourism destinations, the City Centre and Salford Quays. As a result, the corridor has a significant profile, and has already seen several recent major apartment developments.
8.13 It is essential to the character and long-term success of the area that any development takes full advantage of the location, opening up the waterside to public access, improving the quality of the existing waterside walkway and cycleway, presenting an attractive backdrop that promotes its use, and incorporating green infrastructure wherever possible. A key priority is that development should interact with public routes and spaces, providing strong frontages, promoting animation and overlooking. Opportunities to improve access across the water, especially to the key transport interchange of Cornbrook Metrolink stop, will be sought.
8.14 Development should also support the functioning of Ordsall Lane as an attractive residential street, complementing the existing housing to the west. One of Salford’s most important and visited buildings, the grade I listed Ordsall Hall, is located on the opposite side of Ordsall Lane, and it is vital that its setting is fully respected. All of this will require great care in terms of the scale and design of development, and particularly the location of tall buildings, so as to avoid schemes that create an unattractive public realm along either the waterfront or Ordsall Lane.
Development shall be consistent with the evolution of Ordsall Waterfront into a residential-led mixed-use corridor.
Small scale active uses at ground floor level, including local needs retail and leisure uses, will be permitted in prominent locations along Ordsall Lane and the waterfront, where they will help to serve the needs of the growing population and generate activity. Additional social infrastructure such as health facilities will be encouraged.
Other uses compatible with the residential environment will be permitted, particularly at the northern and southern ends which are more commercial in character and more accessible by public transport.
In order to improve the integration of Ordsall Waterfront with surrounding areas and public transport facilities, development shall:
Improvements to cross river/canal connections will be sought.
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8.15 Innovation is an essential driver of economic progress, helping to support new business opportunities, increase productivity, and develop new products and services for consumers. Salford is renowned for its history of innovation, for example being home to key transport advancements such as the first industrial canal (the Bridgewater Canal) and the only swing aqueduct in the world, important inventions such as the steam hammer, and major scientific advancements such as those of James Prescott Joule who laid the foundations for the first law of thermodynamics.
8.16 This innovative nature remains strong today. Salford has one of the fastest rates of growth in business start-ups and, with MediaCityUK, is home of the country’s largest digital, creative and media cluster outside London. It will be important to Salford’s long-term success that the whole of its economy is innovative, but there are also advantages in focusing particularly high levels of innovation within a concentrated area, the benefits of which can then diffuse more widely across the city and sub-region.
8.17 The Salford Innovation Triangle seeks to secure maximum gain from key innovation and research assets such as MediaCityUK (which is home to major companies such as the BBC, ITV and Red Bee, as well as over 250 small and medium-sized enterprises), the University of Salford, and Salford Royal Hospital. Together these provide an internationally significant clustering of innovative activity across a range of sectors, with potential for further major intensification within the Triangle.
8.18 The Triangle does not have rigid boundaries, and inevitably there will be nearby locations that can contribute to and benefit from innovation and research activities. There are also some established residential neighbourhoods within the broad area of the Triangle that are unlikely to see significant change. There are separate policies in this plan relating to key parts of the Triangle, such as Salford Quays (Policy AP2), the University of Salford (Policy ED3), and Salford Royal Hospital (Policy HH3).
8.19 Two locations within the Triangle with significant opportunities for a greater focus on knowledge-based businesses are the existing employment areas at Liverpool Street and Eccles New Road, given their size and strategic location close to key assets. They will be managed in accordance with Policy AP5. In order to deliver the vibrant, high quality places that will support continuous innovation and attract skilled workers, it may be appropriate to introduce some residential accommodation into these locations, with supporting local facilities such as shops and cafes. However, it will be essential that any residential uses are complementary to the primary economic function of these areas, maximising employment and being designed to avoid constraining the types of business activity that can locate there, and so will only be permitted where they fully comply with a council-endorsed masterplan in accordance with Policies AP5, EF2 and EC1. There is also considerable potential for the better utilization of Salford Innovation Park, where there are opportunities to support business start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to capitalise on the high quality research undertaken by the neighbouring university.
8.20 The success of the Triangle will in part depend on the ability to deliver infrastructure improvements, not only in terms of better public transport but also the high quality digital infrastructure required by knowledge-based businesses. Equally, the Triangle can only be deemed successful if surrounding residents are able to access the employment and education opportunities within it. The improved functioning of the Triangle may also help to support the regeneration of surrounding areas, such as Eccles Town Centre which has the potential to act as an important gateway to it.
8.21 The Triangle is not an island, and connections to broader economic opportunities can deliver even greater benefits, such as to the wider City Centre, the wider Salford Quays area, the Oxford Road Corridor in Manchester (which provides the other major innovation cluster in the conurbation core), and Trafford Park in Trafford (which provides one of the largest employment areas in Europe).
Development within the Salford Innovation Triangle shall:
8.22 There are three important existing employment areas on the edge of the City Centre and Salford Quays, at Eccles New Road, Liverpool Street and Cambridge, providing a range of valuable economic functions. Each of these areas has its own distinctive opportunities and challenges.
8.23 The success of the City Centre and Salford Quays is leading to increasing development pressures in these three employment areas, including for uses such as housing that would change their character and role. The central location makes it particularly important that the best possible use is made of these areas. The significance of the Eccles New Road and Liverpool Street areas is further increased by their location within the Salford Innovation Triangle (see Policy AP4).
8.24 Further analysis is required to determine the scale and type of change that may be appropriate in each of these employment areas, having regard to their individual issues and potential. Where change is suitable, this will need to be carefully managed to ensure that it results in high quality development that delivers successful areas, rather than incremental schemes that compromise the effective functioning of each area or adversely impact on any important uses to be retained. It will also need to be ensured that any redevelopment does not detract, or divert investment away, from the key locations of the City Centre and Salford Quays, and fully supports the success of the Salford Innovation Triangle.
Masterplans/frameworks will be produced for the Eccles New Road, Liverpool Street and Cambridge employment areas, and any development within them will be expected to accord with the relevant masterplan/framework in accordance with Policy EF2. Each of these three areas will continue to be protected as an existing employment area in accordance with Policy EC1, unless such masterplans indicate otherwise.
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 HM Government (June 2019) Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy, p.86
 Marketing Manchester (July 2018) One Stop Intelligence Document – Greater Manchester’s Tourism Sector, p.4