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OMI to build Lancashire Pathfinder scheme - images

Manchester-based OMI Architects has won planning permission for one of the government's hugely controversial Pathfinder projects.

The practice has secured support for these 25 units of new homes in the Lancashire town of Rochdale.

The Pathfinders - also called the Housing Market Renewal Areas - are a bid by the government to force up housing prices in deprived areas by demolishing swathes of terraced housing and replacing them with a smaller number of modern homes.

But it has faced strong opposition in many of the planned areas, especially Edge Lane in Liverpool.

However, this does not seem to be the case in Rochdale, where OMI's project has had a comparatively easy ride through planning.

The main group of new homes consists of four-bed houses that sit back-to-back with smaller three-bed house types, with a plan arrangement that allows them to be linked together easily to accommodate extended families.

A spokesman for the practice said: 'Overall, the proposal is an attempt to tread a path between tradition and progressiveness in response to the needs of a specific community and the constraints of a tight existing street network on a steeply sloping site.

'The solution is based on using a linked terrace form that gives strong definition to the streets

while at the same time allowing each house to be individually defined,' he added.

by Ed Dorrell

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