Liz Timperley's beautiful 33 year old house, complete with double glazing, central heating and driveway, is being bulldozed to further the regeneration of Lower Broughton. She's expected to move into one of Countryside Properties' `New Broughton' houses, but is still reeling from the day she visited her friend who is now living in the new estate up the road.
"I walked into the kitchen and it took me back fifty years" Liz recalls "It did. It took me back to when I was a child and I went into my auntie's house with a kitchen that was called a scullery at the time. It was just a small room at the side where you had a wash basin and a little cupboard for your food…
"Why would I want to leave my house to go to one that's half the size?" she asks "Don't they think of the knock-on effects? I've got four grandchildren and they'll be saying `We can't all go to gran's at the same time, we'll be overcrowded in there!' They'll have to have a rota – `Whose turn is it this week to go to gran's?'
"It's not on" Liz fumes "Nobody thinks properly about what they're doing, they just see land, and see money and that's it. It's not about people or the human aspect of it at all…"
This scrapes against the hype being put out by Government ministers and Salford City Council, as last October another £8million of public money was added to an estimated £40million of public money that's already been sunk into the huge regeneration project.
For the Government and its Homes and Communities Agency, the regeneration of Higher and Lower Broughton, which includes 3,500 new homes, is all about the "continued transformation of two of the most deprived communities in Greater Manchester into safe, modern, family-friendly neighbourhoods".
This was underlined by the then Housing Minister, Margaret Beckett, who visited New Broughton last March and talked about the scheme making "high quality places for families in Salford."
Just one problem. Nobody seems to be impressed. Those who have moved into the new houses have complained that they are too small and not built to the same quality as the houses they've moved from.
Meanwhile, only two shops have opened in the area – a CostCutter and a chemist shop. The new playing field has yet to be utilised, and the new primary school is being built in a flood area (complete with an `escape route') amid fears it's going to be overcrowded.
New flats and houses that were supposed to be "occupied by a greater proportion of economically active people" have failed to sell, and are now being turned over to social housing, and the £8million of new Government public money has been put into the failing scheme to `Kickstart' it.
Now petitions against the latest phase of regeneration are being signed in local shops and the credit union.
"I've lived in this house since it was built" says Liz "What's wrong with it? Not a thing. Absolutely nothing at all. Why do they want to knock it down? They just want the land and it doesn't matter about the people who are in the houses. The ones they are building, from what I've seen, are inferior to these – they're like little dolls houses. And they're going up so fast it's like the three little pigs are building them…The contractors portacabins look a lot better than the houses – give me one of them!"
At the moment Liz lives in one of the last remaining streets in the area – a quiet cul de sac populated with families and elderly people. The Council want to move her to the main road along Camp Street in houses being built for Great Places social housing, opposite a pub and a chip shop.
"At the moment I've got three children living next door to me who you never hear because these are good solid houses" says Liz "They play in the street in the summer and it's lovely to watch. There's a church and it's a lovely little community. But no, they want to put me on a main road with no children and volumes of traffic. It's like everything's disappearing. It's not about people or the human aspect of it. I think it's about fetching Manchester further and further into Salford and we're being pushed out."
And while they're waiting to be `pushed' and their houses bulldozed, the few remaining streets are surrounded by huge wooden hoardings, blocking off paths and making it virtually impossible for elderly residents to get to the shops or to get out at all.
"At the moment they've got us hemmed in like sheep" says Liz "At night it's really awful, intimidating. I've asked the contractors if there's any way they could leave a path open but no, and they're going to cut off even more streets around here this week."
Basically the `New Broughton' regeneration - previously marketed as `Supurbia' - is bulldozing quality 33 year old houses in quiet family streets, putting people in smaller houses in streets where they don't want to be – and, while residents await eviction and the bulldozers, they're being left to live in conditions that are both physically and psychologically disturbing. Seems a long way from the "high quality places for families in Salford" that Margaret Beckett was crowing about.
Understandably, Liz doesn't want to move into her new "quality place" but is frightened of the consequences if she doesn't accept what's on offer.
She wants to move into one of the older houses in Riverside, about a quarter of a mile away, to be near her sister. She's offered to do a house swap with a young mum who wants to move her small son away from the river but the Council won't allow it. And now, shockingly, Liz fears that if she doesn't accept the new house she'll be put on the street.
"You only get so many re-housing options and if I don't accept any of them I could end up homeless" she says "If the bulldozers are outside my door, even if I chain myself to the railings I could make myself homeless.
"I'm hoping there'll be a miracle and these won't come down but I doubt it" she adds "My house is my home – I don't want to go to a `house'… Why don't they listen to what people want?"