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National Audit Office to get its teeth into Pathfinder

The National Audit Office looks set to investigate the hugely controversial Pathfinder Initiative.

The powerful organisation will review the effectiveness of the scheme, which would see tens of thousands of terraced homes demolished in the North and the Midlands.

It has the power to produce a report for the influential House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.

The investigation has the potential to severely embarrass the department that morphed out of the ODPM, the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The news comes at a time when enthusiasm for the initiative appears to be waning in government following the death of the ODPM.

The initiative is, however, officially still a cornerstone of the Sustainable Communities Plan and would see thousands of homes face the wrecking ball as a way of superficially forcing up house prices in depressed areas.

While the investigation has yet to win the full go ahead, it looks increasingly likely it will get the green light.

According to a document seen by the AJ, 'The study [will] examine whether the strategy for redeveloping these areas, including the planned programmes of demolitions, is well-founded and is value for money'.

by Ed Dorrell

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