By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Pathfinder under threat as Prescott is stripped of department

The future of the government's hugely contentious Pathfinder initiative has been thrown into doubt after John Prescott lost his department, known as the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, in a Cabinet reshuffle.

The scandal-hit politician has had the department, which had control over housing, environment and planning policy, taken away from him, but retains the title of deputy prime minister.

Former education secretary Ruth Kelly has taken on Prescott's local government brief, which is understood to cover housing issues.

It is well documented that Prescott is the biggest advocate within government of the Pathfinder initiative, which would see swathes of housing demolished in the north of England as a way of forcing up depressed house prices.

Observers have noted that any new minister to take charge of this responsibility would be tempted to drop the controversial policy.

The Pathfinder initiative has faced heavy opposition from the communities that it is supposed to benefit.

Many argue that the houses could easily be refurbished at a lower cost than that of demolition and new build.

It is, however, unlikely that the Sustainable Communities Plan, which includes proposals to build thousands of new homes in the South East, will be dropped.

by Ed Dorrell

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters