Save Britain’s Heritage has scored a major victory, it is claimed, in its campaign to keep the Pathfinder bulldozers out of Liverpool after communities secretary Eric Pickles issued a stop notice
The dramatic move – which forbids demolition without his express permission – came hours before the city’s planning committee was due to meet.
Defiant councillors went ahead and voted unanimously to approve the plans to raze the six streets of Victorian terrace houses known as the Welsh Streets.
But work, planned to start on May 17, will have to wait until Pickles has decided whether an environmental impact assessment (EIA) is required prior to demolition. He has now done so.
Liverpool Council previously ruled that an assessment was not necessary but, after lobbying by Save, Pickles is now questioning this decision.
In a separate development, Save has also bought a house in one of the threatened streets.
Number 21 Madryn Street, a few doors from the childhood home of Ringo Starr, will become the centre of the preservation campaign.
The neighbourhood, named after the Welsh migrants who built it and first lived there, has been under threat of demolition for 10 years as one of the government’s Pathfinder housing market renewal initiatives.
A study by architect Mark Hines for Save last year showed two-up-two-down houses could be adapted for the demands of modern families.
But Liverpool Council leader and cabinet member for housing Joe Anderson said: “I pledged last year that if a developer came forward with a viable proposal to retain the Welsh Streets then we would look seriously at their plans. I am sorry to say that this has not happened.”
He was writing to Pickles to urge him to make a quick decision on the EIA so the council can “crack on and push ahead with the badly needed regeneration of this area”.
So where does this now leave the Welsh Streets. The house that SAVE have bought is really not worth saving it is a house that has had its facade rebuilt in brown brick totally at odds with the area.
Swing into Summer - You know it’s the ‘Silly Season’ when the weather breaks just in time for the school summer holidays and the national papers are full of cheap titillation ...