The Loiterers Resistance Movement

Victory for Our Irwell and the Ralli Quays towpath Campaign

Campaigners have won access to the River Irwell at Ralli Quays in Salford. Working together as “Our Irwell” they have successfully overturned plans to divert the public right of way through a hotel lobby.

Developers Legal and General have amended their plans and they now include the guarantee that “from the hotel opening date the towpath shall be dedicated as highway for use by pedestrians for public access in perpetuity” and the hotel will not open until “the route is open and available for use by the public.”

Planning permission for the development was originally granted by Salford Council in January 2022 despite strong objections. Campaigners argued access to the river is a fundamental right. Closure would be against aims to improve active travel, health and well-being, and the local environment in Salford. Legal and General met with supporters of Our Irwell on multiple occasions to discuss their concerns and have promised continued dialogue on design details. The renovated path at Ralli Quays will pass under new colonnades and will be temporarily closed during building work.

Campaigners are satisfied with this outcome as the best possible solution under current planning legislation. Their core aim – keeping the towpath open and free for all to use – has been met. The accessible alternative route through Ralli Quays via Stanley Street currently remains permissive and it is hoped this can also be made a public right of way.

Campaigners will remain vigilant to ensure commitments are honoured. They are also planning future actions to improve access to Our Irwell.

Steven Lindsay says “I am delighted we seem to have managed to save access to our Irwell riverside walkway for future generations. Whilst it’s sad that the Council seemed happy for it to be lost until people objected, and that it’s far too difficult for local residents to understand the planning processes and get involved, this is a great example of sense prevailing despite these issues. Well done to everyone involved in this achievement.”

Morag Rose says “We hope Ralli Quays can set a precedent to stop private developers stealing public land and blocking rights of way. The river is a vital part of our collective heritage and treasured by many in Salford, Manchester and beyond. The right to roam is a vital issue in urban areas as well as the countryside and we hope to build on this success.  Ralli Quays is small, but significant, stretch of land that demonstrates the importance and value of public space, and access to nature, for everyone. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported our campaign, and worked with us to save the path along Our Irwell at Ralli Quays, I’m excited to see where we can go next”

Contact for more information:

Morag Rose, email tel 07974929589 twitter @thelrm

Background information to the campaign:

The planning documents, and minutes from meetings etc can be found on Salford Council website application ref 21/78277/FUL

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