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SALFORD COUNCIL ISSUES MORE PFI DEMOLITION NOTICES
 

Star date: 6th October 2011

SALFORD COUNCIL TO ISSUE LANGWORTHY DEMOLITION NOTICES FOR PFI SCHEME WHICH IS YET TO GET GOVERNMENT GO AHEAD…

"I'll stay here until the bulldozers come to the door…" Marjorie, Athole Street resident.

This week Salford Council has confirmed the issue of demolition notices for the Athole Street area of Langworthy – before the Government has actually confirmed the PFI scheme for `Creating A New Pendleton'. And before a developer has even been announced.

The area where Christopher Eccleston was born is already known as the Langworthy Prairies – does it need more demolition?

Full story here, with photos by Verena Kennedy…


Salford Prairies Salford Prairies Salford Prairies
Salford Prairies
click image to enlarge

Athole Street lies just off Liverpool Street on the edge of the Langworthy Prairies – a massive area of grassed up, knee railed land where housing used to be, including Blodwell Street, Christopher Eccleston's former family home. It's been left derelict for years with a zillion different Salford Council schemes that have come and gone.

At various times over the last five years the Prairies were going to be a housing development, a sports centre, a road, a school and another housing development, and another housing development. But so far, nothing.

Now, before a final developer for the massive `Creating A New Pendleton' PFI scheme has even been announced - and before the ConDem Government has even finally approved the scheme - demolition notices are to be served on Athole Street, which the Council has stated to be "a priority for early demolition".

Demolition notices have already been served on residents in the High Street area plus the high rise Apple Tree Court and Peach Tree Court flats. Now 76 houses around Athole Street, including Barnfield Close, Primrose Close and Ladyshore Close are being served with the notices. The Council report states "Obtaining vacant possession will be the council's responsibility and risk under the terms of the PFI Project Agreement."

As usual in Salford, people are being cleared from an area and in all probability won't be able to return to the new houses when – or if – they are ever built. Back in 2006, in relation to the Higher Broughton regeneration, the Audit Commission slated Salford Council for not providing homes for those who had been chucked out of their houses… "It would seem very obvious that the first phase should provide homes for people being relocated….", its report stated.

The same happened in Chimney Pot Park with the Urban Splash upside down houses, when the area was cleared without original residents being able to move back into the new houses, which averaged £120,000 each. And in the first phase of the Lower Broughton clearance when people lost their homes and were not offered new ones in the redevelopment sites.

Meanwhile, the usual council tricks of putting `problem families' in empty properties on the streets it wants to demolish are also coming into play. 78 year old Marjorie Rushton lived in her house in Athole Street for decades without any problem, until it was re-classified as within Salford Council's demolition zone…

"In the forty years I've lived here people have been lovely but now the place next door to me is an `in between' house" she explains "The people in there now are really nice but the last ones were the neighbours from hell. You never know who's going to come. I've never had this before."

Despite what many might see as blatant intimidation, Marjorie intends to fight Salford Council for her housing rights. She and her neighbours have been living under the threat of demolition for five years. And are still none the wiser about what is happening, despite the demolition notices getting Council approval.

"We don't know anything now, everything's just gone quiet" says Marjorie "They're supposed to have got money now for the PFI but nothing's been looked at."
 
All that Salford Council seems interested in doing is clearing the area of its residents. Its reps have asked to interview Marjorie about future housing needs but, so far, she has not taken up the offer…

"I didn't do it because I didn't want it" she says "I'm 78 now – where am I going to go? I'm not going in a flat. That's me done – and I'll stay here until the bulldozers come to the door and drop the bomb on it. I've said it to them before – `Don't come to number 3 because there'll be a little old lady sat behind the door'..."

So far, Marjorie has been offered a mere £60,000 for her three bedroom house, while those with two bedrooms, we understand, have been offered £58,000. A three bedroom house on nearby Liverpool Street is currently up for sale to "offers over £100,000".

With the various schemes that have come and gone, the neighbours from hell moving in and out, the ridiculous prices being offered by Salford Council for those who own their houses, and a complete lack of information on what is happening, as usual, people's lives are being messed about…

"Of course I've been messed about" agrees Marjorie "But they can mess me about as much as they want as long as they don't move me into anything I don't want."

Altogether, 891 properties are to be demolished as part of the overall Pendleton PFI scheme at a cost of £12million, which will result in well over 1000 people losing their homes.

The initial demolition notices for Athole Street will be in force for seven years, which could leave residents in limbo for a long time yet. Salford Council justifies serving the notices explaining in its report that it "will reduce the likelihood of the need to resort to Compulsory Purchase Order powers being required as well as managing the potential adverse impact upon the Council's resources and giving clarity to residents living in this part of the regeneration area". 

The only clarity to these residents is that their homes are to be demolished. Apart from that, nothing. And, meanwhile, the Council is leaving the estate to decay with fences hanging off and litter everywhere…

Marjorie looks across at the huge knee-railed area that's been left empty for years at the front of her home …

"They do cut the grass and that's about it…" 

See also: Picking Pendleton's Pockets - from Salford Star issue 4 - click here


Photos by Verena Kennedy

Daniel Hillary wrote
at 06:31:24 on 15 July 2017
I feel need for opposite of Lands Tribunal whereby you can discuss value without willingness to sell being inferred. Where main issue is Council has prove its' right to acquire. Ideally before it can possession of properties. ODPM DCLG are a disgrace for ignoring misrepresentation or fraud,abuse of power/office, public money & the publics rights and taxpayers (everyone thanks to V.A.T!). All responded CPO is opportunity WHEN council choose. Not IF. Wrong abuse housing act clearance to further position under what should be T&CP Act on basis FIT housing residents wished on whole stay in with minimal if any repair/enhancement scheme. I was told if went to CPO I'd see value lowered ('on the table'). Yet I wasn't guaranteed CPO. Told 2-3 clearance. 11.5years on I learn budgeted six years if Part 2 paper legitimate. Tried refuse it as commercially sensitive. How said I, you flattened it all without a CPO. Then closed FOI off as got very specific re pertinent documents. The property ladder is increasingly missing the first 2-3"rungs making shared ownership necessary for many instead of an added option or removing Thatcher's dream of of homeownership or higher rents. Never forget Pathfinder. You're paying for it every month. Slums they were not. Prime redevelopment opportunities albeit not necessarily lawfully granted. Thank you very much to Salford Star for your patience & articles that have helped me slowly make sense of a truly bizarre situation. I conclude the legislation is defective. It achieve its' goal but does it if slums are a metaphor for misappropriation. The government should be making amends. Instead locked in a FOi battle. Then courts who don't play fair with Litignts in person especially not me. Would I waited over three years had I known Id lose health long before any chance of a CPO. I was stitched up to avoid agreeing level rights breached,any admission, any reparation. Yet others were robbed blind as noone policies council / the money. I'm told English Partnerships were funding or would be but I haven't verified this.
 
daniel hillary wrote
at 14:47:17 on 14 July 2017
Unaware demolition orders had time limits. I thought separate to inclusion in a clearance area. By time BwD demolished they had acquired most houses and claimed their right to demolish them. I'm questioning legality of purchases not whether right to demolish and if so whether proceeded correctly. Then issue neither Council nor DCLG/ODPM seem unconcerned about vulnerability of residents. Seem to view capacity as all or nothing & nothing scenario. Health & social care will ignore all relevant issues in favour of temporary mental health crisis & dishing pills while continuing lifetime of failing investigate & explain neck disability effects. Landlord if ex-council can be a problem when comes to disrepair and Category one hazards put you into. Ironically after refusing survey Councilask me (after initial refusal enforce) if repairs ok. At last,too late,my word was good enough,as long as not my house. They've done job cutting grass to the side though. Need campaign change clearanceCPO/process, altering independent surveys,FOI abuses, failure declarevPfi (if involved here) and potential Section 106 benefits -as a registered interest Corporation has.
 
danielhillary wrote
at 14:47:13 on 14 July 2017
Aside from exploiting their power to purchase once a clearance area is declared there are two other reasons for low value offers. To create a narrative in case residents collectively or separately won"t go whilst trying wear people down, as evidence for CPO a last resort as effectively only appeal where you might be given fuller facts. Also offer must reflect the serious disrepair and failing market that each Councils C S Lewis housing team ensure Surveys show imaginary or grossly exaggerated serious disrepair and be priced to portray market failure even though may not exist. Concentrations of truly affordable rented homes likely exist but take money & run is portrayed as support. PFI Schemes - news to me. They inferred or allowed us to believe from ilustrations planted in local paper renovations then replacements. £10.4m flattened 145 properties. 12 years later almost I learn inclusion in a clearance area may be a demolition order or what BwD Council issued to invite your views on. Hardly an appeal when they attach summary HE THINKS HIS HOUSE IS FIT. Having bought it 22 months earlier my Nationwide HOMEBUYER report survey by Garside Waddingham Preston which would have been great if ANY form of appeal once clearance rubber Stamped (local papers frequent phrase). Can Judicial review but on limited info and concealed possibly altered surveys for other houses. Excellent articles as always, finding all slowly.
 
Tina Hewer wrote
at 16:44:38 on 13 May 2015
My mum used to live in peach tree court :-( I will miss her old flat there it used to sway when it was windy
 
Bunty Harding wrote
at 15:17:35 on 09 October 2011
TIME SALFORD CLOUNCIL WAS DEMOLISHED
 
Ken wrote
at 17:54:49 on 08 October 2011
ANOTHER FINE EXAMPLE OF THE PERVERSE , OBSCENE , SELF-SERVING OBJECTIVES OF THIS CRAP CLOUNCIL . CHEATING PEOPLE OF THE FULL VALUE OF THEIR HOMES IS TYPICAL OF THIS USELESS LOT . HAVE THE CLOWNS GOT ANY COMMENT ON THIS , OR PERHAPS EVEN THESE CRETINS REALISE THEY CANNOT DEFEND THE INDEFENSIBLE .
 
Fadge - No Hope in this dead city wrote
at 06:49:48 on 07 October 2011
How typical of the council cretins to arrogantly cheat people of the full value of their homes . All Local government is a cesspit of deceit ,treachery , self-interest and corruption . Fight on Marjorie , and good luck .WAKE UP PEOPLE , AND FIGHT BACK .
 
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