Salford closes land sale to end legal challenge

City Council has tentatively agreed to terms for the sale of land at Ontario Basin to Stama Developments, a deal that could end litigation between the two parties over a dispute over another site, North West Square understand.

Stama and the City Council have been locked in a legal battle since 2019 after the authority rejected the developer’s plans to convert Salford Crescent Police Station to 117 homes.

Stama had entered into a contract with Salford City Council to acquire the building, but the acquisition was canceled when plans were rejected.

The promoter then sued to recover the money he had already invested in the project.

North West Square understands that Stama and Salford City Council have since worked together to end the legal action.

A deal for the long vacant land in the Ontario Basin, located next to the Premier Inn near the docks, could provide a solution for all parties.

If agreed, the deal would see two apartment buildings comprising 267 apartments delivered to the site, according to a report to the Salford Property and Regeneration Committee.

The first block would include 107 apartments and would be 100% affordable. Stama is said to be in advanced negotiations with a registered supplier for the shipment financed sale of the completed block.

The second block would consist of 160 apartments which will be offered for sale on the open market.

Earlier phase one proposals for a 10-story hotel with 162 rooms and a 28-story residential tower with 256 apartments were scaled back due to “significant construction cost inflation”.

A potential second phase could feature two more buildings. However, this would be subject to negotiations with Whitbread, which holds a long lease on a nearby site.

Indicative proposals for phase two could include an eight-storey hotel with 154 rooms and a 12-storey block with 172 apartments.

Salford and Stama declined to comment.