SAVE salutes Pickles' move to halt Pathfinder II
SAVE Britain’s Heritage has welcomed Eric Pickles’ order halting Liverpool Council’s controversial decision to allow the demolition of 440 houses
The Department for Communities and Local Government issued an Article 25 order preventing any work to the site within hours of Liverpool Council’s decision yesterday to grant planning permission to housing association Plus Dane Group.
Designed by Triangle Architects, the contentious proposals would see 440 terraced houses spread over 12 streets flattened and replaced by just 220 low density houses. The scheme has been likened to the Labour government’s now-ditched Pathfinder Housing Market Renewal Programme which came in for heavy criticism due to the swathes of habitable homes it proposed bulldozing.
Clem Cecil, director of SAVE said: ‘We hope Eric Pickles will do what it takes to stop scarce public money being spent removing even scarcer public housing. The prospect of a call in should focus minds – further delay helps no-one, least of all local people.’
The streets – known as the Welsh Streets as many were built by Wesh migrant workers and named after locations in Wales – have already seen many of the terraced homes bought and boarded up under the Pathfinder programme which saw 1,200 residents leave the area.
Cecil said: ‘This is not localism, it is holding people to ransom. Plus Dane should be ashamed of themselves for the waste they have wrought and for playing with the expectations of their tenants.’
‘Their proposals not only contravene national policy on many levels, they detract from the culture and heritage of Liverpool.’
Eric Pickles now has 21 days to decide whether or not to launch a full public inquiry into the site.
Previous story (AJ 24.07.13)
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.