One day, someone will write the book about the destruction and community clearance that's gone on in Higher Broughton. Unfortunately there isn't the space on the net to delve into the dodgy dealings, hoodwinking and misinformation that has led to over 400 houses being destroyed in the Top and Bottom Streets of Higher Broughton. Instead, today the Salford Star begins a series called THERE GOES THE NEIGHBOURHOOD…
PART 1 – ALADDIN SANE
In Cardiff Street, on the Top Streets of Higher Broughton yesterday, workmen were busy stripping out terraced houses that are over 100 years old, in preparation for demolition.
Through a windowless front room the only remnant of the previous occupants is a wall full of posters. The biggest poster viewable is of David Bowie with the legend `Aladdin Sane' printed underneath. Bowie's crazed eyes look out onto the destruction. It's a perfect metaphor for what's happening in Higher Broughton.
By the time the bulldozers have finished there will be just six original houses left standing out of over 400 in the Top and Bottom Streets. The houses are not being demolished because they are slums or in disrepair. They are being knocked down only because, according to Salford Council, there is "low demand for housing of this type".
This is the rhetoric used by the previous Labour Government and its now discredited Pathfinder project which was responsible for destroying tens of thousands of traditional houses all over the country. Already trashed in the Top Streets have been a stunning old dairy, large four bedroom houses, and streets full of traditional terraces.
In their place, Salford Council has built new properties on Vincent Street, in New Devonshire Square and in Broughton Green. All of these developments, have already had repair work done on them, despite being built over the last five years.
In Broughton Green and New Devonshire Square, window surrounds have bowed, while on Vincent Street whole front sections of the houses are currently being replaced with `sterling board' which looks like glorified chip board. This work has been ongoing since January.
Yet these in Vincent Street were supposed to be `state-of-the-art' houses for the displaced community (all 19 of them!) who paid up to £135,000 for the privilege of living there. Those who bought the properties were left with `equity loans' of up to £50,000, and, according to a Salford Council evaluation, 30% of the residents were `dissatisfied' with how they were sold the financial package (see here). We understand that two residents of Vincent Street have died recently, never having seen the benefits of the Top Streets regeneration.
The contrast between the old sturdy houses being bulldozed and the new flimsy houses next door having repair work is a sad sight indeed. And the last memory of one side of Cardiff Street is of those crazed David Bowie eyes screaming `Aladdin Sane'…
See related Salford Star story - Salford Sheriff to Evict Resident at High Noon - click here
For the full history of Higher Broughton just enter the words Top Streets into our website search engine at the top of the page...
See also Salford Star's The Assassination Of A Comunity - click here