Around 700 homes to be built on Little Hulton Golf Course as £40m sale agreed

Plans to build 690 homes on a golf course in Salford are set to go ahead, after an agreement was reached to sell the land to a developer for around £40m.

Belway Homes will buy Brackley Golf Course in Little Hulton for £39.3 million.

Salford Council, which jointly owns the 27-hectare site off the M61, will pocket £18.5m from the sale – the largest single capital gain in its 47-year history.

This follows a deal with Countryside in May 2020, but sales fell when the developer tried to renegotiate the purchase price.

Planning permission to build 677 homes on the golf course was granted last year – but there is no need for affordable housing on the site.

Speaking at a meeting on Monday, Salford Council Assistant Director Peter Openshaw said the new homes – ranging from two-bed semi to four-bed detached housing – would be ‘higher values’ than originally envisaged .

He said: “While there is no obligation from a planning standpoint to provide affordable housing, they have said they will sit down with us to see what is possible.

“At the moment it is not included in their plans, but they are willing to talk to us without any commitment.”

The councilors agreed to work with land owners Avonfield Ltd., Pinebrook Ltd. and MHE Investments Ltd. to sell the site for housing in 2018.

But when the Framework Planning Consent was granted, the Council did not have a policy that would require a portion of the new major development to be affordable.

Mr Openshaw said that previous house-builders who were ready to buy land had planned to make new properties affordable by about a third.

But the local authority and other landlords ‘lost faith’ when the developer sought to renegotiate a price lower than other buyers’ offers.

Belway has not included affordable housing in its plans, but has agreed to discuss the matter with council after the sale is complete.

City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “It is unfortunate that outline planning consent has already been given, but it is reassuring that the developer is ready to negotiate with us about affordable housing.

“Hopefully you’ll be there somewhere to further improve all the metrics you’ve shared with us.

“As you know, I’m one of those people who like to eat my cake.”

The local authority is expecting to make over £4.5m a year through the New Homes bonus as well as £1.1m in council tax from the new properties.

The agreement to sell the land includes a condition that allows the council to buy back the land if Bellway does not build homes according to plans.

The house-builder is in the process of becoming a real living wage employer and plans to pay real living wage to all its contractors within three years.

The development will be composed of 36 flat, 76 two-bed and 250 three-bed semi-detached and 217 three-bed and 111 four-bed detached residences.

Plans must be amended to allow for the construction of 690 homes, but work on the site is expected to begin early in the new year.

The sale of the site is to be completed on December 1.

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