Publication Local Plan, Chapter 8: Area policies

Creating a fairer Salford by:

  • Ensuring that areas with the highest pressures for development are carefully managed in a way that positively enhances the environment, maximises the benefits for deprived communities, supports economic opportunities, and mitigates negative impacts such as poor air quality

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.

City Centre Salford

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 [1].

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.

Policy AP1 - City Centre Salford


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:

  1. Greengate – The medieval heart of Salford, the area is now emerging as a new mixed-use neighbourhood distinguished by its cultural vitality and high quality public realm stretching through it and connecting across the river to Manchester. Key elements of Greengate’s future form, which will be essential to its successful functioning, will include a new park (see ‘Environmental quality’ section below), a new Greengate Boulevard fronted by active ground floor uses and providing a direct physical connection between the historic Market Cross and the grade II* listed Collier Street Baths, high-density housing, and re-invigorated heritage assets.
  2. Chapel Wharf – The area will maintain its diverse mix of uses and range of heritage assets, providing an important link between Greengate and New Bailey, and a key connection between the Salford and Manchester parts of the City Centre.
  3. New Bailey – The area will continue to be primarily characterised by office, leisure and tourism uses, forming part of the commercial core of the City Centre, with excellent connections across the river to Spinningfields in Manchester. Significant improvements to Salford Central rail station will further enhance the attractiveness of the area.
  4. Middlewood, New Bailey West and Wilburn Basin – These areas will provide residential-led mixed-use neighbourhoods that make the most of the waterfront settings (the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal, the River Irwell and Wilburn Basin, respectively) in accordance with policy D9.
  5. Chapel Street and Islington – Chapel Street itself will be further enhanced as a key corridor into the core of the City Centre, with high quality public realm and flanked by historically important buildings. Development will be carefully designed to respect the numerous heritage assets.
  6. Adelphi – This residential-led mixed-use area will take maximum advantage of the attractive riverside location overlooking The Meadow, providing a high quality setting for the area’s open spaces and riverside walkway and cycleway in accordance with policy D9.
  7. Crescent, University of Salford and Innovation Park – The area will provide a distinctive western entrance to the City Centre. Its historic buildings, coupled with enhanced views and connections to surrounding open spaces, will offer an attractive context for any further development. The green character of Peel Park will be extended across the A6 around Fire Station Square, and high quality public realm will unify the important cluster of heritage, cultural and university assets, providing a strong, active focus for the area. The university campus will continue to be improved (see Policy ED3), and the adjacent Innovation Park enhanced for knowledge-based uses. Residential uses will be focused in the area to the south of The Crescent. The line of the former Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal provides an opportunity to open up new green infrastructure through this area.
  8. The Meadow and Peel Park – The Meadow and Peel Park will provide the largest integrated area of greenspace in the City Centre, with improved connections to surrounding areas.


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: 

  1. Business, tourism, cultural and leisure development will be appropriate across the area. Development in New Bailey, and between New Bailey Street and Dearmans Place, shall be predominantly for offices, tourism, cultural and leisure uses, reflecting its role as part of the central business district.
  2. The continued enhancement of the facilities at the University of Salford campus will be supported, with student housing focused within and immediately around the campus. The western end of the University of Salford area will remain predominantly in use for university-related activities and other knowledge-based uses.
  3. Residential-led mixed-use development will be appropriate across the rest of City Centre Salford. This will be primarily in the form of apartments, reflecting the area’s locational advantages, but may also include houses built at high densities.
  4. Retail and leisure uses, community and social facilities (including health and education facilities) and other amenities to support the residential, business and visitor populations will be permitted. These facilities shall be focused on prominent frontages, busy intersections with high footfall, and where they can add vibrancy and best meet the needs of the neighbourhood.

Transport and movement

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: 

  1. The development of further public transport links into the City Centre’s existing rail stations, employment, cultural and leisure opportunities
  2. The continued improvement of Salford Central Station as the main western rail gateway to the central business district of the City Centre, including through works which enable more services and longer trains to stop at the station
  3. The transformation of Salford Crescent Station into a major public transport interchange for rail, Metrolink and bus services, with the continued improvement of the station itself as a key rail facility serving the Crescent / Chapel Street and the University of Salford and the investigation into the potential to increase the number of platforms
  4. A new Metrolink line connecting Salford Quays and Salford Crescent Station, supporting the integration of the City Centre with Salford Quays, potentially with a quality bus transit scheme being developed initially
  5. A new footbridge from the Crescent across the River Irwell, enabling The Meadow and Peel Park to act as a key green space in the City Centre and forming part of the wider Irwell River Park
  6. A new pedestrian bridge between New Bailey West and the St John’s quarter in Manchester

Environmental quality

In order to achieve the high environmental quality that is essential to the long-term success of the City Centre, development shall: 

  1. Protect and enhance City Centre Salford’s important heritage assets and their setting, including its conservation areas and key landmarks such as Salford Cathedral, St. Philip’s Church, Sacred Trinity Church and Collier Street Baths
  2. Support a significant increase in the quantity and quality of City Centre Salford’s green infrastructure, taking an innovative approach to the incorporation of green infrastructure within a high-density context
  3. Contribute to the provision of high quality public realm across City Centre Salford that promotes walking and cycling, provides green infrastructure, incorporates a variety of functions, and is fronted by activity
  4. Respond positively to the viaducts and their associated opportunities, including delivering additional and improved pedestrian routes through them, providing active uses within the railway arches that add to the vibrancy of the area, greening the infrastructure, and enabling appreciation of their heritage interest
  5. Provide a riverside walkway and cycleway and connected open spaces, which are integrated into the wider Irwell River Park and designed to enhance the ecological role of the river
  6. Deliver a new Greengate Park, which:
    1. Is of sufficient scale to fulfil a wide variety of functions, meeting the needs of those living and working in the area, and drawing in visitors to support local businesses and cultural activity;
    2. Responds to the rich heritage of the area, including the historic routes of Greengate and Gravel Lane;
    3. Complements and is fully integrated with the other public spaces and streets in the area, including Greengate Square, Greengate Boulevard and Market Cross; and
    4. Fulfils a range of functions, including bringing nature into the City Centre, incorporating trees and biodiverse planting areas, and being capable of holding events
  7. Development alongside the line of the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal shall facilitate its restoration, or where this is not practicable, provide open space incorporating walking and cycling routes and heritage interpretation features in accordance with policy HE6.
  8. Manage flood risk in accordance with WA4

Figure 2 - City Centre Salford

Figure 3 - City centre context

Salford Quays

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 [2]. 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.

Policy AP2 - Salford Quays


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: 

  1. A highly diverse economy will be maintained, and the success of the internationally important cluster of creative, digital and media industries supported. Business floorspace will be primarily located on and around Pier 9 and Anchorage Quay, with a smaller but still significant cluster around Exchange Quay.
  2. The further development of the tourism role of Salford Quays will be supported, with visitor facilities and attractions being appropriate uses across the area.
  3. Residential development will complement rather than be at the expense of the important business and tourism functions of Salford Quays. New housing will be primarily in the form of apartments but may also include houses built at high densities.
  4. Salford Quays is designated as a town centre. Relevant uses will be managed in accordance with policies TC1 to TC4. 

Transport and movement

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: 

  1. A new Metrolink line connecting Salford Quays and Salford Crescent Station, improving sustainable transport access to Salford Quays and its integration with the City Centre and the rail network, potentially with a quality bus transit scheme being developed initially
  2. Improved bus access from across the city
  3. A reduction in traffic levels within the area bounded by Trafford Road, Broadway and the Manchester Ship Canal, helping to improve the environmental quality of the area, and including carefully controlling the location of, and access to, parking for cars and coaches
  4. Significant enhancements in walking and cycling routes, providing high quality connections throughout Salford Quays and to surrounding areas, including to the City Centre as part of Irwell River Park
  5. A new footbridge across the Manchester Ship Canal from Clippers Quay, enabling better connections to the new Trafford Park Metrolink line 

Environmental quality 

Development shall maintain and enhance the high environmental quality of Salford Quays, which is central to the area’s success, including by: 

  1. Ensuring that it supports the distinctive identity of Salford Quays, based around the waterways, tree-lined walkways, high quality architecture and major public spaces
  2. Providing a variety of public spaces that allow different user experiences and connect into the wider Irwell River Park
  3. Considerably increasing the level of greenery across the area
  4. Balancing the recreational use of the basins alongside their role in supporting wildlife, ensuring the protection of the existing site of biological importance and the successful management of their water quality
  5. Managing flood risk in accordance with WA4

Figure 4 - Salford Quays

Download a full size version of figure 4 - Salford Quays (Adobe PDF format, 3.9mb)

Ordsall Waterfront

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.

Policy AP3 - Ordsall Waterfront


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. 

Transport and movement

In order to improve the integration of Ordsall Waterfront with surrounding areas and public transport facilities, development shall: 

  1. Accommodate existing, and provide new, high quality publicly accessible routes linking Ordsall Lane to the waterside walkway and cycleway, including the following new routes:
    1. Along Worrall Street, aligned with the junction with Ordsall Lane and Oldfield Road
    2. Aligned with St. Clement’s Drive, leading to the grade II listed St Clement’s Church
  2. Contribute to the provision of an attractive waterside walkway and cycleway throughout the area, forming part of the wider Irwell River Park and connecting the City Centre and Salford Quays, which must be of sufficient width to:
    1. Meet the requirements of Policy D9;
    2. Prevent a canyoning effect against the buildings fronting on to it;
    3. Allow pedestrians and cyclists to pass safely; and
    4. Ensure good visibility along the route

Improvements to cross river/canal connections will be sought.

Environmental quality

Development shall: 

  1. Be of a density that reflects the opportunities presented by the area’s waterside location and strategic position between the City Centre and Salford Quays
  2. Avoid overly dominating dwellings to the west of Ordsall Lane, particularly in terms of building heights
  3. Protect and enhance the setting and views of the grade I listed Ordsall Hall
  4. Manage flood risk in accordance with WA4 

Figure 5 - Ordsall Waterfront

Salford Innovation Triangle

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).

Policy AP4 - Salford Innovation Triangle

Development within the Salford Innovation Triangle shall:

  1. Support its role as the key focus for innovation-led economic growth within the city
  2. Maximise the benefits of its three primary anchors:
    1. MediaCityUK (see Policy AP2)
    2. University of Salford (see Policy ED3)
    3. Salford Royal Hospital (see Policy HH3)
  3. Enable enhancements in the area’s infrastructure, including:
    1. Delivering the latest digital infrastructure throughout the area
    2. Providing a new Metrolink line between Salford Quays and Salford Crescent Station, potentially with a bus transit scheme being developed initially, better connecting the two anchors of MediaCityUK and the University of Salford
    3. Expanding the use of low-carbon energy systems
  4. Contribute to the provision of vibrant places with distinctive identities across the Triangle 

Employment areas close to the City Centre and Salford Quays

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.

  • Eccles New Road lies immediately to the north of Salford Quays and already accommodates uses associated with the important digital and creative cluster there. The Salford Quays Metrolink line runs through the area, and the major health campus of Salford Royal Hospital lies just to the north-west, with Trafford Park to the south.
  • Liverpool Street immediately adjoins the City Centre, with high levels of ongoing development to the east, the University of Salford and the key interchange of Salford Crescent to the north, and the proposed Metrolink route between Salford Quays and Salford Crescent just to the west.
  • Cambridge lies to the north of the City Centre, with the Strangeways employment area adjoining it to the east in Manchester, but the major issue for the area is the need to take a coordinated approach to reducing and managing flood risk.

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.

Policy AP5 - Employment areas close to the City Centre and Salford Quays

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.

Figure 6 - Employment areas close to the city centre and Salford Quays


[1] HM Government (June 2019) Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy, p.86

[2] Marketing Manchester (July 2018) One Stop Intelligence Document – Greater Manchester’s Tourism Sector, p.4

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