Place strategy

Pendleton’s clash at Salford comes to an end

The City Council plans to use expropriation powers to acquire the last occupied property on the former High Street estate to pave the way for the construction of a new leisure centre.

Salford City Council believes it has a ‘compelling case’ for using compulsory purchasing powers to take control of 14 Holcombe Close, owned by Demonique Wilson.

According to land records, Wilson bought the property in 2005. A few years later, Salford City Council pulled the trigger on a regeneration strategy that saw large swaths of the High Street estate razed to the ground.

About 740 houses that made up the estate have been demolished since 2009.

However, Wilson refused to sell his house to the city council, and the two sides have been locked in an impasse for several years.

Wilson’s property is one of six original houses still standing on the High Street estate and the only one still occupied.

The city council wants to demolish the house, along with the five adjoining vacant properties that make up the terrace, as part of the ongoing regeneration of the 1970s estate.

In a report to the Authority’s Property and Regeneration Committee, Salford said it had “taken considerable steps to reach agreement for the acquisition of 14 Holcombe Close”.

However, having failed, the use of compulsory purchasing powers appears to be the most likely outcome.

Next week the authority will decide whether to move forward with the CPO.

If the council is successful in securing ownership of Holcombe Close, it will be able to move forward with plans for a £16.5million leisure center to replace Clarendon Leisure Centre.

The existing center is 42 years old and has reached the end of its lifespan, according to the council.

“Pendleton Community Activity and Health Hub…will make a very positive contribution to the promotion or enhancement of the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area,” said a report to the Property and Regeneration Committee.

Last April, contractor Willmott Dixon was appointed to provide pre-contract professional services for the project, while architect GT3 designs the facility.