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Old Salford primary school to become smart new council housing

New council housing is set to be built at the site of a former school in Salford.

Planning permission has been approved for 32 houses and 36 apartments at the former site of St Luke’s Primary School off Eccles New Road in Weaste.

Salford Council will build the new estate – of which three quarters will be available for ‘affordable’ rent – before handing over 24 homes to a local charity.

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Inspiring Communities Together will own the properties as part of a ‘novel’ approach to housing in which tenants will have more of a say in how it is run.

It comes two weeks after a similar community-led housing scheme at the former Cromwell School site in Charlestown was also given the green light.

‘Good quality homes’

Chief executive officer Bernadette Elder said the newly-formed Inspiring Housing organisation is ‘delighted’ that the plans have now been approved.

She said: “We now look forward to building our relationship with Salford City Council and providing good quality homes to local Salford residents.”

Plans for new council housing at the former St Luke’s primary school site in Weaste. Credit: Salford City Council.

The new development will feature a mix of homes, including houses ranging from two to four bedrooms in size and apartments based on needs in the area.

There is currently an average of 99 bids on each property in the Weaste area which becomes available to people waiting on the council’s housing register.

Overall, there are around 5,000 households on the council’s housing register who were waiting for accommodation in Salford, according to data from April.

In particular, four-bedroom houses are in such high demand that applicants can be waiting for eight years before accommodation is allocated to them.

What is the demand for social housing currently?

Across the city, there were 4,502 households who reported themselves as homeless last year – a 12 pc increase compared to the previous 12 months.

A total of 350 households are still in temporary accommodation in Salford.

Salford council boss Dylan Vince told the planning panel at a meeting on Thursday (December 2) of the desperate need for affordable housing.

He said: “The demand for affordable homes is high in the city and increasing.

“This scheme provides a strong affordable housing offer above policy requirements with a flexible, adaptable, high-quality energy efficient scheme that helps mitigate fuel poverty.”

Energy efficient features have been included in the design of the dwellings which will be air tight and ‘super insulated’, saving tenants energy costs.

Two houses and two apartments on the estate will be wheelchair accessible – although Conservative councillor Bob Clarke said this is ‘not good enough’.

Five trees and other plants will be removed from the site, but the council will contribute £9,693 towards biodiversity improvements elsewhere in the city.

Labour councillor Jane Hamilton said she liked the scheme and was supported by fellow panel member Tanya Burch who spoke of the ‘dire need’ for housing.

The panel approved the application with six votes for and one abstention.