Salford Council has approved the first phase demolition of 149 out of 301 homes on the High Street estate in Pendleton, and will serve a `decant' notice on Salix Homes, which now owns the properties, to pass onto families living in Brydon Close, Edgehill Close, Chartwell Close, Sedgefield Close and Fitzwarren Street*.
While the Council is aiming to get rid of 149 homes, Together Housing - part of Pendleton Together which is redeveloping the area – is only building an extra 52 `affordable rented homes' to replace them, which is only around one third.
"...the allocation of the 52 new affordable units should be linked to the clearance of the High Street estate to maximise re-housing choice for residents affected" states a Council report.
However, the report adds that "Changes in Government funding priorities mean that grant allocation for affordable rented homes will not be available. This will impact on the partnership's ability to bring forward future phases of affordable rented accommodation".
Residents on the High Street estate, near Salford Precinct, knew nothing of the planned demolitions when the Salford Star spoke to them this morning...
"They should let us know, we don't want to be kept in limbo any more" said Evelyn Scott who has lived in Sedgefield Close for 31 years "I'd rather know now than six months down the line."
Neither was Evelyn impressed by Together Housing only building 52 affordable rented houses for the existing community... "I think it's wrong" she said "If they know you're going they should have another house ready for us to go into. If I am being driven out for some top bloke to come in, that's not right. If they make a decision it should be for the people who are here not for the people they want to bring in."
Going off the figures in the Council report, `future phases' will include the demolition of another 152 houses on the estate – with no affordable housing to replace them. It will be seen as more social cleansing in Central Salford, which has already seen communities `exiled' from Higher Broughton, Lower Broughton, Charlestown, Langworthy and Seedley (see previous Salford Star articles – click here and see Social Cleansing article in print issue 10**).
Altogether, 885 houses in Pendleton are being bulldozed and, to date, 584 have already been demolished, including houses on Athole Street and Amersham Street. Over the Pendleton Together project's £650million thirty year life, only around one third of new houses being built will be affordable.**
Meanwhile, after years of anguish and uncertainty, Fitzwarren Court and Rosehill Close, previously down for demolition, are being saved. Salix Homes will now bring flats in Fitzwarren Court and houses in its ownership on Rosehill Close up to the Decent Homes Standard. The retention of Fitzwarren Court is related to the amount of one bedroom properties which are now in demand, as people look to downsize to avoid the Bedroom Tax.
To read Part 2 - Near 9 Year waiting List for One Bedroom Social Rent Flat - click here
The Salford Star has requested an interview with Paul Longshaw, previously the Salford Council officer in charge of the Pendleton redevelopment and now, since being elected a councillor this year, Lead Member for Housing. So far Paul Longshaw hasn't responded.
*The full addresses are: 1-65 Brydon Close, 3-33 Edgehill Close, 2-66 Edgehill Close, all of Chartwell Close, Fitzwarren Street and Sedgefield Close
**For the full Pendleton Together story, including demolitions, NIBE fuel poverty and more see Pendleton Untogether in print issue 10 of the Salford Star, which also includes an article on Social Cleansing In Salford – for the electronic issue click here