450 houses and new primary school proposed for Hazelhurst Farm Green Belt site in Worsley

By Simon Donohue

A new housing development and primary school could be built on Green Belt land adjacent to the A580 East Lancashire Road in Worsley.

The Hazelhurst Farm proposal forms part of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. It comes as Salford Council is working on it own Local Plan, which outlines how the city can accommodate the construction of 34,500 new homes in the next 20 years.

Proposals include reducing the net Green Belt land across Greater Manchester by 4,900 hectares. According to Salford Council, Salford faces a net reduction of around 290 hectares of Green Belt land in total.

Public consultation on the draft Salford Local Plan is open until January 16.

Located within easy walking distance of the new A580 park and ride, the Hazelhurst Farm development is earmarked for Green Belt land currently occupied by Wardley Woods and farm land, and bordered by Hazelhurst Road, the M60 motorway and the A580. The park and ride has faced criticism for remaining largely empty and being situated in an area inaccessible to many commuters.

Green Belt land is to be allocated to development
Hazelhurst Farm is part of the Green Belt land that could be allocated for development
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett has written to households across Boothstown, Worsley and Swinton to inform people of proposals as part of a consultation exercise.

Other proposals highlighted include the new RHS Bridgewater Gardens off Leigh Road, Worsley, and details of further Green Belt development.

For more details, click here and click on the Draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework link.

The Hazelhurst Farm proposal is detailed on page 214.

It states that development of the site would need to:

1. Provide high quality pedestrian routes from all houses on the site to stops on the Leigh-Salford-Manchester busway
2. Protect and enhance the Worsley Woods Site of Biological Importance on the western part of the site
3. Retain other mature woodland, hedgerows, swamp and water bodies as important landscape features, supporting an overall increase in the nature conservation value of the site
4. Incorporate sustainable drainage systems to mitigate the surface water flooding on the site
5. Retain a landscape buffer to the A580 to mitigate air and noise pollution
6. Provide a buffer for the overhead power line that runs across the site
7. Incorporate attractive public rights of way through the site; and
8. Set aside land for a new primary school, unless it can be demonstrated that sufficient additional school places can be provided off-site within the local area to meet the likely demand generated by the new housing.

Providing “reasoned justification” for the development, the report states: “The site benefits from close proximity to stops for the Leigh-Salford-Manchester busway, providing rapid transit access to the employment and leisure opportunities in the City Centre.
“It is important to the sustainability of the development of the site that it is designed to maximise the use of those services, and this is likely to require some off-site improvements to pedestrian routes to the stops as well as influencing the on-site layout. The landscape features within and around the site are important to the character of the wider area, and their retention will help to differentiate its development and ensure a high quality residential environment.
“Part of the site is already designated for its nature conservation importance, and the development should secure further improvements.
“A desk-based assessment of the site’s archaeological interest will be required.”

Image taken from Draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework