• Salford - a bit of context
• Our humble beginnings
• Our refreshed service
• Lessons learnt
Over the past five
years, Salford has
seen growth of over
homes (over 2,900
per annum) and
Expected to reach
300,000 by 2040
A further 25,000 additional
jobs by 2040
Salford’s Growth Potential
£2.55 billion investment into
the city, with £7.51 of private
investment for every £1 of public
Growth in the overall £GVA value
of the economy of over £500 million to
£7.8 billion, with Salford now
the 3rd largest local economy in
We first introduced pre application charging in 2010.
First to do so in Greater Manchester and part of only a small handful of
Charges not devised to achieve cost recovery (intentional). Testing the
water with developers and the fact that most (northern) LPA’s did not
Did not want to discourage developers.
Simple 3 tier category fixed fee offering – Large scale major development;
Small scale major development and all other development but excluding
We consulted consultees. Committed to written response and said we
would reply in 6 weeks.
Having undertaken some customer focus
groups in 2018 it was clear that customers
were willing to pay for pre application advice
but they wanted:
• more flexibility;
• a choice of approach and more initial control
over what they needed;
• creation of more certainty and timeliness;
• did not want one size fits all;
• wanted a collaborative dialogue; and,
• where appropriate the ability to have a bespoke
approach tailored to individual needs.
We have tailored the service as much
round the customer as possible:
• They can choose the level of service
• Ability to select whether consultees are
invited to comment;
• Whether they would like to meet with the
case officer and/or key consultees;
• Whether they require a quicker response
than normal (fast track); and,
• We offer core fees for each development
category with any additional services
selected attracting an additional fee.
Nine development types
• We developed 9 development
categories based on the workflow
profile we regularly receive.
• We costed each development type
using an average hourly rate and a
typical time to complete (for simplicity).
• If preferred, we offer a bespoke
Planning Performance Agreement
service that can include the pre-app
• We direct customers to our web site where
they choose the development category that
best reflects their requirement.
• They complete the web form including usual
applicant details; site information; details of
the pre application and finish with a
• The form is designed with a series of drop
down options which take them to different
sections/questions depending on their
• They use the complete form in their
• When the service was 18 months old, a
review was undertaken to establish
whether cost recovery was successfully
• A sample was taken from the preceding 6
month period of closed cases, excluding
following ups and householders.
• The sample consisted of case studies
across all categories (except for category
6) with senior and principal planners
being asked to quantify how much time
they and others spent on their cases.
Is the pre-application service
achieving cost recovery?
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA
Outcome of the
• Cost recovery was made in the
vast majority of applications.
• The small number of applications
that made a loss related to
heritage assets, which required a
higher level of officer input.
• In addition, a category 1 & 2 case
was allocated to principal officers
where perhaps they should have
been given to senior officers.
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA
What is the customer
• Survey Monkey:
• 34 users of our pre-application service
were engaged with a Survey Monkey
• A 32% response rate.
• The survey comprised 4 multiple
choice questions and 2 open ended
• The multiple-choice questions were
completed by all respondents while
the open-ended questions were not.
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND
So, what did our
• Q1:- 73% of those surveyed found the webpage
provided adequate information.
• Q2:- 73% of the respondents found the application
form easy to use with 9% expressing that the
experience exceeded expectations. 18% found the
form difficult to use.
• Q3:- No respondents indicated that the form is less
than adequate in terms of the choice it offers with
regards to the service provision.
• Q4:- 82% of those surveyed considered the service
value for money and 18% did not agree.
So, what did our customers say?
• More flexibility in choosing specific consultees;
• Ability to meet with the case officer;
• Quicker turnaround time; and,
• Improvements to the payment system:
• Automation like the Planning Portal;
• Third party payment; and,
• A confirmation email.
Q5:- Improvements to the service offered.
• The ability for developers to pay directly to the
Council via the webpage;
• More detail concerning the available service options;
• Improve the format of the initial page; and,
• Improve navigation to the most relevant pages.
Q6:- When asked about ways to improve the webpage…
• Value of good customer service to encourage repeat
• Ensure you have a clear and up to date website,
informing customers of how they can use the service
• PPAs can be used for those proposals that don’t
readily fall into a particular charging category
• Be flexible!
Notas do Editor
In the last decade Salford has been on a remarkable journey to emerge as a modern global city, attracting record public and private investment and becoming an engine for growth in Greater Manchester.
However, this hasn’t been out of coincidence and down to Salford’s bold and ambitious economic vision and long-term growth plans.
Backed by Salford’s political leadership.
And shared common goals and vision in creating spaces and places that go beyond the bricks and mortar of simply building buildings.
Delivered in collaboration with our private sector partners who have committed long-term to the city in the delivery of large-scale, place-based regeneration.
Resulting in the delivery of over 14,500 new homes (over 2,900 per annum) and almost 212,000 sqm (2.3 million sq. ft) of commercial floorspace in the last five years.
Public and private sector delivery across Salford and GM must continue to work together to ensure equal regeneration that gives back to communities through affordable homes, new green spaces, and community areas in creating further social cohesion and spaces for innovation, skills, and entrepreneurship.
Strategic long-term partnerships are critical to this; Partnerships based on collaboration, long-term commitment/investment, taking risks and being innovative in our thinking and delivery in making things happen. MediaCity and Salford Central are exemplary regeneration schemes and key drivers in Salford’s economic success story to-date
Within the past 5 years we have seen growth in the overall £GVA value of the economy of over £500 million to £7.8 billion, meaning Salford is now the 3rd largest local economy in GM behind Manchester and Trafford.
We have a rapidly growing and diverse population that has grown by 15% since 2011 to 269,000 people – the tenth highest in England and Wales. This is expected to reach more than 300,000 by 2040.
We’ve seen employment growth of over 15,000 additional jobs (12.3%) – which is the fastest % growth in GM, with forecast growth of a further 25,000 jobs by 2040.
Growth in the business base means over 2,000 registered companies are trading in the city, again the fastest total and % growth in GM.