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Section 106 Payments: Salford's Deals Revealed

L&G's Slate Yard BTR scheme in Salford

Newly revealed section 106 planning gain statistics from build-to-rent boomtown Salford provide a rare glimpse of the increasingly political world of planning gain in Greater Manchester.

The information, revealed in a Freedom of Information request and published here, shows that Salford City Council garnered £5.4M in section 106 planning gain payments in 2018-19, just a shade down on the record performance of 2016-17 when it scooped £6.5M. The council agreed section 106 deals worth more than in July to September 2019.

However, a further set of data obtained as a result of the Freedom of Information request suggests the council might not be as sharp as it seems in its dealing with developers. At least, that is what the Salford Star, which obtained the figures, reported.

These figures relate to the clawback of section 106 payments where development was more viable than the developers' viability assessment had indicated, including an element of reasonable profit.

The figures show that no clawback money was paid to the council from 2014 to 2016. Since then the council received £2M from the One Greengate Development, and £563K SF from the City Suites development, both in 2016-17. In 2017-18 it clawed back a further £505K, and since then nothing at all, the Salford Star reports.

The alternative explanation is that the viability assessments submitted by developers were remarkably acurate, and that the system is working well.