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SALFORD DEMOLITIONS CHALLENGE
 

Star date: 21st June 2011

COULD THIS BE THE END OF MASS DEMOLITIONS IN SALFORD?

"It has been obscene to see authorities acquire, evict, devalue and demolish thousands of Victorian terraced houses without even submitting a full planning application, simply so the land they stand on can be handed to development driven quangos for private profit..." Jonathan Brown

As Salford Council continues its demolition programme, despite in many cases having no developer in sight, a series of court rulings are set to change the conditions under which houses and heritage sites can be bulldozed.

Court cases in Lancaster and Gateshead brought by SAVE Britain's Heritage have changed the game completely. Demolitions in Liverpool have been stopped, now residents in Salford are more than taking an interest.

Full story here…


Higher Broughton In Bloom Higher Broughton In Bloom Higher Broughton In Bloom
Higher Broughton In Bloom Higher Broughton In Bloom Higher Broughton In Bloom
Higher Broughton In Bloom Higher Broughton In Bloom Higher Broughton In Bloom
Higher Broughton In Bloom Higher Broughton In Bloom
click image to enlarge

In the Top Streets of Higher Broughton, 108 houses are currently being bulldozed at a cost of £280,000. The whole area is being flattened with no developer in sight, and the houses include a stunning old dairy and double fronted properties as well as streets full of well built terraced houses (see here for further details).

Three residents still living in Devonshire Street and Cardiff Street have a High Court order on Salford Council stopping demolition of their own houses and twenty other houses which the Council had promised to refurbish, before going back on the agreement, stating that it was `economically unviable'. Now some landmark court cases maybe changing the game completely.

The cases have been brought by the SAVE Britain's Heritage group in Lancaster and Gateshead and revolved around the Government's Demolition Directive which meant that councils didn't have to get planning permission (outside conservation areas) to demolish whole areas of housing.

SAVE challenged this in the courts, won and now nearly all demolition work will have to get planning permission, which will mean councils explaining in some detail exactly why they're knocking down houses without developers on board to build new houses.  They will also be required to properly examine alternatives to demolition, including renovation and refurbishment.

The rulings will also force councils to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) if the demolition is likely to have an effect on the local environment, thanks to the European Environmental Impact Assessment Directive which was previously ignored.

The first results of these court rulings have been felt in the Welsh Streets of Liverpool, where the controversial demolition of 200 houses (including Ringo Starr's old home) has been stopped by Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, pending an EIA and a new full planning application for the demolition.

"This is a massively important decision which could spell the end of fast-tracked mass demolitions" says William Palin, Secretary of SAVE "At last, Liverpool Council's draconian approach to flattening neighbourhoods without full planning scrutiny, has been challenged. This will finally force the council to look at alternatives to demolition and we hope that this will open the way for individuals, housing co-ops and developers to take on and renovate these houses and reverse years of council-sponsored decline."

It might be too late for the hundreds of terraced houses already needlessly knocked down by Salford Council as part of the Pathfinder programme. But for those streets still standing and for heritage buildings under threat there is now a chance of salvation.
 
"It has been obscene to see authorities acquire, evict, devalue and demolish thousands of Victorian terraced houses without even submitting a full planning application, simply so the land they stand on can be handed to development driven quangos for private profit" says planning specialist and Pathfinder resident Jonathan Brown of Merseyside Civic Society.

"For the sake of over twenty thousand people on Liverpool's waiting list, and millions more in acute housing need across Britain, we must hope this drives away the long shadow cast by the great housing market renewal scandal" he adds "and will lead to the renovation of thousands of good, solid Victorian terraces written-off by Pathfinder as obsolete."

In the Top Streets of Higher Broughton the residents' case for refurbishment grows stronger every day… Meanwhile those looking to save the Langworthy Hotel and other heritage sites will be taking some comfort too.

See Salford Star's Pathfinder Public Inquiry Call – click here and here

See Tinned Up, the play of the Pathfinder mess, at The Lowry June 30th - July 2nd: click here

SAVE has actually bought a house in Madryn Street, Liverpool, to try and stop the demolitions - see The House That Refused To Die blog - click here

HIGHER BROUGHTON IN BLOOM

See our summer photo album of the Top Streets in bloom…

Photos Key:

a) The Hanging Gardens of King Street
b)  Roof Gardens of King Street
c)  Residents did ask for gardens in Cardiff Street
d) Gated alleyways spring into bloom in Cardiff Street and King Street
e) Gated alleyways spring into bloom in Cardiff Street and King Street
f)  Flowers for the double unsolved murder of Vikki and Rhona – a memorial garden might be a good idea
g) Original £250,000 SRB idea to put trees on the streets – before demolition
h) The Top Streets Prairies
i) Er, Vodka in bloom
j) The demolitions continue...

k) Top Streets Prairies with new `community hub' in background

Main photo shows a poppy in the Top Streets

Nav Baig wrote
at 10:24:02 on 19 January 2014
I have just discovered Salford Star browsing the web. I was looking for images of my families previous home. I come from a family of 8 kids and we all lived in Lancaster Street, Lower Broughton in the sixties. Would anyone know where it might be possible to find images of Lancaster Street and the surrounding areas from the 60's and 70's? Really appreciate any feedback. Thanks in advance. Nav
 
G.Griffiths wrote
at 13:45:23 on 02 July 2011
Well, having been evicted from my home 5 years ago, it is nice to see that someone is finally trying to stop these demolitions. I was in a meeting with JM in August 2007 (pre credit crunch) and he assured me that Broughton Green was selling well and the top Streets development was going ahead. I asked him and "teflon Bob Osborne" why they thought that if Broughton Green wasn't selling and they could not sell Bond Square, (sorry, New Devonshire Square) then why did they think a developer would want the bit in the middle (Top Streets)? Something different---I was promised 1st refusal of any renovated property on Devonshire Street which has still not happened 5 years on. Also I have been waiting for the ANSWER to a question from JM since 8th January 2011. Paul Walker has sent a few letters quoting policy and wanted to set up a meeting so he could waste some more time, BUT the question has still not been answered. Just my view but I think Walker is an over paid waste of time. WE pay the bloke £125,000 a year and he cannot answer a simple question that JM keeps passing over to him.
 
Starr wrote
at 21:38:23 on 21 June 2011
Re our John Prescot, why don,t you leave him alone to get on making him-self a millionair. He has many troubled nights thinking about all the nasty things you say about him, he also worries about serious decisions he has to make like which expensive car to use tomorrow !!!!and now and then like other polititions he thinks of you poor %^&*% when he can life is no picnic for our John so mind your own buisness. you would do the same given the chance.
 
John Earnshaw wrote
at 09:46:15 on 21 June 2011
I have been involved with and helped many community groups across the North of England, whose homes were affected by the previous governments's HMRPI scheme, which introduced by John Prescott, then then Deputy Prime Minister, as being the be all and end all to solving the UK's so called housing market failure! I've seen these many of these people over the past 8 years in their deliberately run down communities and homes and they were and still are, struggling just to try to keep living and make ends meet in some sense of normality, whilst the politicians and the HMRP officers, live in their lovely leafy sub-urban homes and communities, without a care in the world! But after all this time, what a disaster and what a complete waste of tax payer's money it's all been! What have 'they', the HMRP's acheived in these 8 years - come on and be honest, very little! The national politicans and local politicians, should be held totally responsible for this shameful wastage and they should also be financially accountable to the Audit Commission and HMR&C, for deliberately wasting billions of pounds of tax payers money in a hair brained scheme that has been a complete disaster from Day 1. Those responsible for this wastage, should be surcharged individually! Only now are a few of the more enlightened politicians beginning to understand the full extent and implications of what's been going on over the past 8 or so years in some of the countries major cities and towns! Well done to Will Palin for keeping the situation going in Liverpool and as a result, let's also hope that more politcians begin to see the light! Meanwhile, dear Mr Prescott, sorry Lord Prescott, has taken to doing some commercial TV advertising for moneysupermarket.com and the 'ad' shows him as as a boxer, in his garage with his 2 cars - how much is he getting for that little number and I'll bet that he still claims his £300 per day for attending in the House of Lords and for what? Answers on a post card please and I'll publish the best answer here! John Earnshaw Freelance Housing, Regeneration and Crime Reduction Consultant Bansley
 
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