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  6. Minister intervenes over Liverpool demolition plans

Minister intervenes over Liverpool demolition plans

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has decided that plans to demolish nearly 200 homes as part of a Pathfinder clearance project in the Welsh Streets area of Liverpool should be subject to environmental impact assessment (EIA). One of the properties involved is the birthplace and childhood home of Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr.

The council will now be required to submit a new, full planning application for demolition. Permitted development rights - which the council was using to fast-track demolition - have been suspended and the controversial plans will now be subject to the full scrutiny of the EIA process.

In addition the council will be required to examine alternatives to demolition, including renovation and refurbishment.

The houses in the Welsh Streets area of Liverpool were built by and for Welsh artisan immigrants in the 19th century.

The secretary of the campaigning group SAVE Britain’s Heritage, William Palin, said: “This is a massively important decision which could spell the end of fast-tracked mass demolitions.”

Pickles has earlier issued Liverpool Council with an Article 25 Direction forbidding them to give consent for demolishing the Welsh Streets until he has considered a request by SAVE to require a full environmental assessment.

 

Roger Milne

23 June 2011