lunes, 19 de enero de 2015

Liverpool: Mayor Joe Anderson condemns decision to block demolition

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk
Welsh Streets: Mayor Joe Anderson condemns decision to block demolition
By Liam Murphy
Jan 16, 2015

Campaigners opposing council's regeneration plans say they are 'delighted'

Voelas Street in Dingle
Voelas Street in Dingle

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has condemned a decision by the government to block council plans to demolish and rebuild some of the houses in Welsh Streets.

Following an inquiry last into the council’s regeneration plans for the Welsh Streets – including a house where Beatle Ringo Starr once lived as young child – a planning inspector ruled the scheme could be given the go-ahead.

But despite this the communities secretary Eric Pickles stepped in to block the proposals in what Mayor Anderson has described as a “politically motivated” and “perverse” decision.

Residents pictured on Treborth street
Residents pictured on Treborth street

Mayor Anderson said the Government’s decision was “yet another kick in the teeth for the long-suffering residents”.

He said: “The residents of the Welsh Streets have already waited far too long for regeneration. They have shown real determination, resilience and fantastic community spirit, to fight for modern, family homes.”

He said the council will be “looking straight away at how we can challenge this dreadful decision.”

In his letter the Secretary of State said he “disagrees with the Inspector’s recommendation and refuses planning permission”.

In September 2013 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, called an inquiry into the council’s plan to demolish and rebuild some of the houses in the Welsh Streets, held last summer.

Liverpool city council and Plus Dane Housing Group were behind the joint scheme which opposed by SAVE Britain’s Heritage, who think the houses should be kept and refurbished.

Following the decision by Eric Pickles to block the council’s plans, director of SAVE Clem Cecil said: “We are really pleased, we have been campaigning for this for ten years.”

She added: “This decision letter from the Secretary of State is really visionary and is one that allows empty homes to be brought back into use. Now it’s important to get the homes back into use and not let them decay further. I really hope this doesn’t descend into politics between the Mayor and the Government.”

Last summer’s public inquiry last summer looked at plans by the council to compulsorily purchase the last eight of the 311 sites needed to deliver phases one and two of the £15m scheme.

The council says that under its proposals the new homes for the local community and new residents would have been built to a high standard and will be available for affordable rent and sale, providing a diverse mix of housing for the area designed to be energy efficient and spacious, with many including gardens.

Liverpool’s Mayor said he had prepared to abide by the decision of an independent inspector “even if it had gone against us” and said Eric Pickles intervention was “absolutely appalling and smacks of the very worst type of political interference from Whitehall”.

The scheme was approved by the council’s planning committee in August 2013 but called in for public inquiry by the Secretary of State.

Treborth Street in Dingle
Treborth Street in Dingle





www.24dash.com
Liverpool fury as Pickles uses Ringo Starr to block Welsh Streets regeneration
Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government
Friday 16th January 2015 

The Mayor of Liverpool has reacted with fury to a decision by Eric Pickles to use Beatles legend Ringo Starr to block the regeneration of the city's Welsh Streets.

Joe Anderson has accused Pickles of "political posturing" after the Department for Communities and Local Government overturned a planning inspector's recommendation to approve the council's plans, saying the regeneration project posed a threat to the Beatles' heritage in the city - with specific reference to the birthplace of the band's drummer.

Under the plans, which were backed by 70% of the local community, the council would have demolished 271 "damp and run down" homes and replaced them with 154 new houses while another 37 would have been refurbished, including the Beatle's former home in Madryn Street.

Fury in Liverpool as Pickles uses Ringo Starr to block Welsh Streets regeneration

But the Secretary of State has decided that the decision to preserve that particular property but demolish the rest of Madryn Street would "significantly harm the ability to understand and appreciate this part of Liverpool’s Beatles heritage".

Mayor Anderson said: “This is yet another kick in the teeth for the long-suffering residents of the Welsh Streets, who have now been waiting more than a decade for new homes.

“I was prepared to abide by the decision of an independent inspector even if it had gone against us, but it is unacceptable, dishonourable and completely perverse for Eric Pickles to continue to ignore local leadership, local people and then hold and pay for an independent public inquiry using taxpayers money, which he then ignores for naked political posturing.

“Yet again, this government talks about localism but then interferes in the wishes of local people. It is absolutely appalling and smacks of the very worst type of political interference from Whitehall.

“This scheme was carefully developed and supported by the vast majority of local people in a thorough and detailed consultation.

“The residents of the Welsh Streets have already waited far too long for regeneration. They have shown real determination, resilience and fantastic community spirit, to fight for modern, family homes.

“I would like to reassure them that we stand shoulder to shoulder with them in finding a way through this to deliver the new homes that they long for, and deserve.

“We will be looking straight away at how we can challenge this dreadful decision.”

Assistant mayor councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “Some people have been living in damp, cold conditions for far too long and it is having a major impact on their health.

“This decision is absolutely nonsensical and heartbreaking, but we are committed to finding a way forward.”

The DCLG's decision follows a public inquiry last summer which looked in detail at plans by the council to compulsorily purchase the last eight of the 311 homes needed to deliver phases one and two of the £15 million scheme. Three have already been cleared, two are residential properties and three are commercial units. Five are already vacant.

Under the proposals, the new homes would have been built to a high standard and available for 'affordable rent' and sale, providing a mix of housing for the area designed to be "energy efficient and spacious, with many including gardens".

The Welsh Streets plans formed part of the wider regeneration of the Princes Park neighbourhood, with more than 80% of the 2,500 properties in the renewal area being retained.

The scheme was approved by the council’s planning committee in August 2013 but called in for public inquiry by the Secretary of State.

In its decision letter, the DCLG wrote: "Having taken account of the differing views expressed at the inquiry, the Secretary of State agrees with the SAVE’s assessment of heritage matters.

"Specifically with regard to ‘The Beatles’, although Ringo’s birthplace at No. 9 Madryn Street would be retained together with part of Madryn Street, only a stub of this terrace would be saved.

"The Secretary of State does not agree with the inspector that the significance of Ringo Starr’s house would not be lost as a consequence of the proposals.

"The Secretary of State agrees with SAVE and the National Trust that the demolition of much of Madryn Street will significantly harm the ability to understand and appreciate this part of Liverpool’s Beatles heritage, which he considers to be of importance to the city.

"Although there are many other surviving terraced streets in the area where visitors could go to see a similar environment to the one where Ringo Starr was born, the Secretary of State places importance on the actual street where he was born and he agrees with SAVE that the proposals would be short sighted as regards the future tourism potential of Madryn Street.

"For the above reasons, although the Welsh Streets are non-designated heritage assets the Secretary of State does not agree with the Inspector’s conclusion that these streets are of low significance for Liverpool’s heritage.

"The Secretary of State considers that the surviving built and cultural heritage in the Welsh Streets is of considerable significance for the above reasons, and that the proposal wold have a harmful effect on the significance of the Welsh Streets as a non-designated heritage asset."


Ringo Look-alike Max Frudd in Madryn Street 


No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario en la entrada