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A Five Billion Pound National Disgrace

Having watched the progressive degradation of Government policy on planning and transport in England over the past 15 years, I thought I was beyond being shocked. But a quick analysis of the Government announcement on its five billion quid Housing Infrastructure Fund left me speechless. Well, almost...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 04 February 2018

Transformational Dreams

Thanks to a quirky coincidence, I was in a small town in the north of England when Transport for the North launched its Strategic Transport Plan, setting out its aspirations for what it grandly called transformational growth over the next third of a century. Well, quite a lot of the north is in need...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 21 January 2018

An Egregious Future

Few elephants live in this country and most of those that do live in zoos. So conservation of them is unlikely to figure in any 25-year environment strategy, which is a pity, as the Plan published by the Government yesterday must have had two very large pachyderms roaming silently around the launch ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 January 2018

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Liverpool terraces spring back to life

Added on 29 July 2016

Work is getting underway on the restoration of Liverpool’s historic Welsh Streets area following their reprieve from central and local government attempts to destroy them under the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder initiative.

Their demolition was eventually halted following a public inquiry in 2014 but hundreds of houses were left derelict and deteriorating.

Last January a developer Place First reached agreement with Liverpool City Council to restore the homes and the first phase will see 35 terraced houses become 25 homes varying in size from one to four bedrooms.

“These are eminently useable terraces and we are confident the pilot scheme will prove a success,” said Mike Fox, deputy director of Save Britain’s Heritage which led the campaign. “We look forward to the refurbishment of the wider Welsh Streets site following on soon after.”

The Pathfinder project was set up by central government in the 2000s with the bizarre objective of increasing house prices in a number of areas of northern England and the Midlands.

At one stage around 400,000 Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses were under threat and some 30,000 were actually destroyed.

The plans envisaged their replacement with lower-density housing or grassing over the sites where they stood, notwithstanding the damage to the communities involved.

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