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Pathfinder II: Liverpool gives go-ahead to flatten 440 houses

Liverpool Council has controversially decided to allow the demolition of 440 houses in the inner city area of Toxteth

The authority’s planning committee voted to approve an application by housing association Plus Dane to demolish 12 streets of terraced houses, in a move which has been compared to the unpopular Pathfinder scheme.

The area will be redeveloped to provide 150 new houses, with outline permission for a further 70 homes, while 40 of the existing houses will be refurbished. This represents a net loss of 220 or potentially 290 homes on the site.

However, it is understood the imminent destruction of the Welsh Streets – so named as the terraces were built by Welsh immigrant workers and named after villages and locations in Wales – has been halted by an Article 25 order issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government this afternoon.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles must now decide whether he calls for a public enquiry into the scheme.

The planning decision was slammed by SAVE Britain’s Heritage director Clem Cecil who said: ‘We have seen the failures of Pathfinder, and be in no doubt – this is Pathfinder continued. [The programme] is a destructive, cynical policy that divides communities. We will be seeking a public enquiry to look at the planning permission granted today.’

SAVE owns a house on the site at 21 Madryn Street which it bought to show the viability of the housing stock on the Welsh Streets. If demolition plans are approved then SAVE will receive a compulsory purchase order to vacate the property, which the organization has said it will challenge.

Readers' comments (2)

  • How depressing.

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  • All the more reason that Park Hill should win the Stirling, to send a message that it is possible to refit and relove neglected residential buildings without out the need for vast clearances and rebuilding.
    It's an oppertunity for the prize to not only be a recognition of excellent architecture but to become a statement of how things should be done from design through to the politics.

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