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Pathfinder fails for Liverpool

Liverpool City Council leader Warren Bradley has admitted the Pathfinder scheme has left parts of the city derelict

Referring to the government’s much lauded Housing Market Renewal Initiative (HMRI), Bradley said the programme had left many areas of Liverpool looking like ‘war zones’ where housing due to be demolished has been left empty.

Bradley blamed a lack of funding from the Treasury for the problems. He said: ‘They wouldn’t give us clearance and as a consequence we’ve had to leave houses boarded up and unusable in the areas we should be regenerating.’

Meanwhile, architects have criticised the widespread demolition of housing stock in the city’s Pathfinder areas, which in some cases even included listed buildings.

Steve McAdam, director at Fluid Architects, said: ‘The schemes often focus on clearances where the good comes down with the bad, especially in Liverpool. In Sheffield, where the council is working with a regeneration partner, things are working much better and they are focusing only on demolishing very blighted areas.’

The HMRI schemes were brought in to encourage developers to choose sites in run-down areas ahead of more affluent spots, thus driving up housing prices and demand.

However, Adam Hall, managing director at Falconer Chester Hall Architects in Liverpool, said: ‘This absolutely has not happened. Of course the collapse of the housing market also had a big impact, and Bradley shouldn’t be too hard on himself.’

In Liverpool, areas chosen for the programme included Anfield and Breckfield, Granby, Kensington, Lodge Lane, Princes Park and Wavetree.

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