The Phoenix is Rising!
GOOLE ACTION GROUP formed in January 2005, following a public meeting. The majority of residents were against East Riding of Yorkshire Council plans for the terraced town of Goole.
Under Goole Neighbourhood Renewal Assessment, on 7 December 2004 ERYC designated PHOENIX STREET AND RICHARD COOPER STREET as Non-Sustainable - meaning the DEMOLITION of 117 homes, a beauty salon, the Adelphi warehouse, and 53 Hook Road.
The real reason that ERYC wants to DEMOLISH Phoenix Street and Richard Cooper Street is because "IN THESE STREETS THERE IS A NEED AND AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT...".
This development site is intended to offer a profitable investment - for ERYC, and for Yorkshire Housing Association - not for those residents who have already paid for their homes and want to stay in them, after also putting up with the less than "fair or good reputation" that ERYC is using as a reason to get rid of them.
As one housing developer told the inaugural meeting of GOOLE ACTION GROUP, once Phoenix Street and Richard Cooper Street are demolished, the rest of the town is at risk. Knocking down those two streets will simply move the problems suffered by residents to other areas.
There are 2700 homes in the Goole Renewal Area and 21 of the town's 55 terraced streets are labelled FRAGILE - where "reported crime rates may also be above average for the area". That will be used when your street is assessed again.
JOIN GOOLE ACTION GROUP AND STAND UP FOR YOUR COMMUNITY - RECOGNISE GOOLE'S RESILIENCE AND CHARACTER FORGED BY RICHARD COOPER AND PHOENIX STREET COMMUNITIES SINCE VICTORIAN TIMES - SHARE FAMILY MEMORIES OF LIFE IN GOOLE
End of an era as developers claim the last Potteries oatcake shop
Observer newspaper reports Council's decision to demolish a beloved front-room shop sparks debate about regeneration
Oatcakes baked at terraced house sold through the front-room window - until owner now pushed into selling property.
Reminds us of Phoenix Street home-baking by former resident for neighbourhood, once upon a time.
Another example of traditional community life crumbling.
24 FEBRUARY 2012
23 JANUARY 2012
DAVID IRELAND of EMPTY HOMES AGENCY REPORTS ON MEETINGS WITH GOVERNMENT HOUSING MINISTERS
I promised to get back to you about meetings I had last week with housing ministers Grant Shapps and Andrew Stunell and with shaddow housing minsiter Jack Dromey. All were very constructive and there was agreement that the mess left behind after the withdrawal of housing market renewal has to be addressed.
Grant Shapps was keen to point out that the government had already agreed grants of £35m to pay for "rescuing people trapped in streets affected by HMR" and would be launching another £50m in April to pay for refurbishments. I gave Shapps my suggestions for what that fund should be used for, he said there will be a short consultaiton process, and I have been invited to discuss our proposals in more detail with his officals. I'm very grateful for all your comments and views which I will certainly put forward in this consultation.
We also had a discussion about the £35m Shapps has already allocated. I expressed concern that the money was going to be used for a further waive of demolitions, he was adamant that this was not the case. He said he thought HMR had been a disaster but the age of demolitions was now over.
I have to say I'm not completely convinced by this, and we have asked for paperwork relating to all the grants made under this (£35m) programme through the Freedom of Information Act. When we get results I'll share them with you. (Thank you JB for alerting me to this)
Finally I have a request. If Shapps is right and demolitions are now over, then what is going to happen to the houses that were boarded up for clearence? One way of testing this would be to use the "Community Right to Reclaim Land" You may know this better as PROD (indeed some of you have used them) . It's an old bit of legislation that allows the secretary of state to order the disposal (sale) of empty publicly owned houses and land. Grant Shapps has personally relaunched PROD as "Community Right to Reclaim Land" so presumably wants people to use it. If you are affected by council owned houses that have been boarded up for demolition I'd really encourage you to use the legislation and request that the government gets the houses sold and reoccupied. There is information on how to do this on our website: http://emptyhomes.com/what-you-can-do-2/resources/prods-2/ I'm also very happy to talk to you individually about choosing suitable properties for PRODing and helping you through the process. Do let me know if you are interested in giving it a go.
David Ireland Chief Executive Empty Homes
T: 020 7921 4325 | W: www.emptyhomes.com
75 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7HS
Empty Homes is the operating name for Empty Homes Agency Limited.
Registered in England as a charitable Industrial and Provident Society No. 27697R
22 JANUARY 2012Bulldozed: the minister’s pledge to save homes. - Charles Clover Published: 22 January 2012
Pat Dunn is a 70-year-old grandmother recovering from cancer. Her husband, John, 73, sounded distressed when I called. They live in a Victorian terrace house of some architectural merit in the centre of Bootle, Merseyside. Their home, in what was once a prosperous, middle-class area, did not stand in the way of a road, airport or any project of public importance, but last week Sefton council compulsorily purchased it and told them they had a month to get out. The Dunn's are one of four families left in Hertford Road who will lose their homes as part of a regeneration scheme that will not necessarily build any new houses.
Their entirely serviceable home will be flattened in the service of the last government’s discredited ideology of “housing market renewal” because they live in a Pathfinder regeneration area and because private developers once told the council they wanted the site.
The Dunns have been living with demolition for years, as the bulldozers work their way up the street. Their windows are filthy and there is always noise. “It’s just their way of persecuting us and driving us out,” Pat told me. They would go now, but the council has paid them only £97,000 for their four-bedroom home, whereas they have been advised comparable homes are worth £180,000. This will have to be resolved at a tribunal. Elsewhere in Bootle, in the Klondyke area, an 88-year-old pensioner who has lived, free, in her house all her life is refusing to move to a bungalow where she will have to pay rent of £70 a week.
Local Labour councillors and MPs have been slow to take up the cause of these elderly victims. The Dunns’ MP, Joe Benton, claimed they had cancelled their appointment with him, which they had not. It is heretical in this Labour heartland to criticise an industry that puts state money into councillors’ budgets and also benefits housing associations and developers — but not its frail victims. The regeneration industry gets money out of the state by blighting streets, leaving a crop of boarded-up homes to be “harvested” — as one expert acting for the victims described it. The pattern is clear across the north of England. It brings in millions.
I thought this disgraceful story was over, for on November 24 last year the housing minister, Grant Shapps, told the Commons that he was winding up Pathfinder, “ending the Whitehall obsession with demolitions” and taking steps to get empty homes back into beneficial use. He criticised the demonisation of the traditional British terrace under the last government. He identified the perverse incentive to run down areas, the large profits handed to developers and the damage done to Victorian heritage. He said people were told they would see a transformation of their area, when what this meant was buildings bulldozed, neighbourhoods torn apart and families trapped in abandoned streets. “This was wrong,” said Shapps.
So it was. Imagine my surprise, then, when I rang the Dunns last week and found Pathfinder still alive.
This was followed by astonishment when I was shown a breakdown, released under a freedom of information request, of what the £35m “transition fund” money announced by Shapps to wind down Pathfinder would be spent on. The bid for Merseyside, which Shapps approved, goes far beyond rescuing isolated households. Under this “exit strategy”, councils on Merseyside will demolish another 2,369 homes by 2018, on top of the 4,489 destroyed already. There are no proposals for refurbishment.
Incredibly, in Bootle, some £4m of the New Homes Bonus, the coalition’s flagship plan to persuade councils to build affordable homes, will be used to contribute towards the vast sum needed for demolition. That is incredibly cynical. The £10m of transition fund money to be spent, mostly on demolition, in Liverpool includes 300 homes in the Welsh streets, Ringo Starr’s birthplace, which Shapps said last year he would rather see refurbished.
Can Shapps have read what he signed? When I put this to his department, he replied that councils “should not be pursuing large-scale demolition, particularly where refurbishment is an option, and I am reviewing the use councils are making of this money”. Well 2,300 homes on Merseyside and thousands more in Gateshead, Teesside, the Potteries and elsewhere is hardly small scale. And there isn’t much he can do about it, as he has signed off the money.
Shapps and his boss, Eric Pickles, are Conservatives. They should be against out-of-control, self-interested bureaucracies and socialist councils, and in favour of private property. Are they weak, incompetent or conspired against by their civil servants? A bit of each, I would guess. If Shapps and Pickles really want to slay the Pathfinder monster, they need to be tough. They need to destroy its culture — in the civil service, in the quangos and in the housing associations whose grossly over-rewarded executives are paid according to turnover, which goes up with every new scheme of which they are given a percentage.
How can a minister in a coalition that is apparently cash-strapped make available a further £35m (councils will find matching funds to double that) for a scheme that has wasted billions? Shapps’s rhetoric in the Commons was admirable, but it is contradicted by what we find he has done.
06 DECEMBER 2011
Channel 4 said: "The UK is in the middle of a housing crisis and this December, Channel 4 airs a season of special programmes to investigate why and highlight possible solutions.
"Almost two million British families are currently on the waiting lists for social housing, and thousands live in unsuitable temporary accommodation or are struggling with soaring rent payments. Cutbacks and the recession also mean that homelessness has become a very real threat to thousands across the whole social spectrum who are increasingly struggling to make ends meet.
"Meanwhile, one million properties lie empty across the UK, even though many cost huge amounts to keep secure - a bill often footed by taxpayers. In some areas whole streets of houses stand deserted, damaging the local community as well as neighbourhood businesses. In others, empty stranded houses are a blight on the local landscape attracting vermin and vandals, and depressing surrounding property prices.
"For The Great British Property Scandal season, Channel 4 investigates some of the issues that have contributed to the housing crisis and speak to a broad range of the people affected by it."
20 NOVEMBER 2011
Rowan Moore - The Observer
"The idea of the terrace, he says, "started a long time ago and it will go on for another 500 or 600 years. It is such a good form". The only problem is that "there is a perception in the housing market that it won't sell, so developers have to make things convoluted, even though those to-die-for streets of Islington, where Boris Johnson lives, are all repetitive".
19 NOVEMBER 2011
A N WILSON ESSAY - EXTRACT
Daily Mail Online - Right Minds
The working classes of Britain were the source of its power and wealth as a great trading nation. From them came the energy and resourcefulness which created our exports. And all over Britain, in working-class communities, there was a powerful sense of solidarity and community.
From the colliery bands of Durham to the male voice choirs of South Wales, from the music halls of the East End of London to the brass bands of Yorkshire, from the Wesleyan chapels and the Workers’ Educational Association evening classes, there was a rich vein of working-class culture and community in this country. In working-class streets and tenements there was a palpable sense of neighbourliness. This was more than something cosy — it gave colossal strength to the community beyond the working-class purlieus.
In war, the working classes gave their young to fight, but it was the resolve of those who lived near the docks in Plymouth, Liverpool and Glasgow and perhaps above all in the East End of London, that made this country unbeatable.
Best of British: Our heavy industry was once the envy of the world
Meanwhile in peacetime, the housebound and the sick would not need a social worker or someone from the council to provide them with food or nursing. Neighbours did it spontaneously. Children did not need probation officers because they had parents who stayed together, often in very difficult circumstances, and instilled a sense of discipline.
Crime rates in Britain between the end of World War I and the Sixties were lower than at any period of our history, and lower than anywhere else in the world because of this tightly-knit, home-loving, working-class sense of community.
But when political decisions were made to dismantle Britain’s great industrial base, the working class suffered desperately. Old industrial communities all over the country were smashed up.
06 NOVEMBER 2011
Regenerate the cities – give empty houses away
State intervention is not the answer to England’s problem of boarded-up terraces. Councils must be made to sell or give away empty houses
Charles Clover Published: 6 November 2011
You would laugh if it weren’t so sad. A Commons committee, chaired by the Sheffield Labour MP Clive Betts, has been on a trip around the battered towns and cities of the industrial north of England and found streets where the last residents are stranded in boarded-up terraces.
They have concluded that people have been abandoned in appalling conditions because of the coalition’s “disastrous” cuts to regeneration schemes.
Who boarded up the houses, pray? Councils bankrolled by Betts’s party.
Who devised the Pathfinder schemes that blighted the areas they were meant to save with the threat of demolition, and seldom came up with the decent new housing they were meant to provide? Betts’s party, again. In the words of Grant Shapps, the housing minister, the last government’s attempts at regeneration involved “bulldozing buildings ... [and --> desperately hoping that someone might come along to reorder the rubble”.
What Betts and his committee fail to ask is which was the bigger disaster: the cuts to regeneration projects or the idea of Pathfinder itself. The reality is that the idea of “renewing” the housing market with state money, devised by John Prescott and left-leaning academics, has proved more expensive and more disruptive to people’s lives than was ever envisaged.
Historically, housing markets have renewed themselves when property has been cheap and urban pioneers such as artists and entrepreneurs have moved in, not when councils and property developers have struck some super-deal. Now, instead of calling for the release of perfectly good homes to people who would do them up, Betts — a former leader of Sheffield city council — and his committee seem to want more of the same: more state intervention; more big schemes. Their only incisive observation: the coalition doesn’t have a viable strategy for clearing up the mess Pathfinder left behind.
Arguably, the coalition should have reacted more ideologically than it has to the battle that still rages over housing in the north. For what is needed is a change to the state-dependent mindset that imprisons left-wing MPs and councils as surely as it does the benefit claimants of Burnley estates. A possible way forward was highlighted in the recommendations made by Lord Heseltine and Sir Terry Leahy in their report on Liverpool last month. They see the Victorian and Edwardian housing stock as an asset and the city’s population as a potential labour market of nearly 3m people. They condemn the Detroit model of “demolish and grass over” in deprived areas, a strategy long pursued by Liverpool. They propose that the long-term unemployed earn their benefits by creating gardens and doing up derelict houses.
There is something comic in the recommendation that jobseekers on £67.50 a week should sort out the mess made by Pathfinder’s consultants on £800 a day. But the message is invigorating after decades of managed decline and the demolition of supposedly obsolete but actually perfectly serviceable terraces. The question is whether councils such as Liverpool’s are capable of the necessary change in thinking. What’s clear is there is now a need to provoke one because the government looks as if it is about to set off another wave of demolitions. As exposed by the weekly trade magazine Inside Housing, an unintended consequence of a coming reform of public housing finances is that councils have an incentive to dispose of as many homes as possible by the time the rules take effect in March. Nottingham and Birmingham are threatening to demolish up to 2,000 homes.
The solution is to devise a way of making councils such as Liverpool sell, or give away, empty homes that the private sector could more cheaply bring into use. London boroughs such as Islington, reluctant to divest themselves of council housing in the Thatcher era, were forced to do so. Property prices soared.
Powers, known as Prods — public requests to order disposal — that were devised at that time need to be improved so councils are forced to sell empty homes to people who have a coherent vision for the area. Selling off property at a low price to people who undertake to do it up has worked in Rotterdam, where social problems have all but gone and the scheme is oversubscribed.
Eric Pickles’s communities department needs to look at ways of getting boarded-up properties owned by councils and housing associations into the hands of charities, local groups and individuals. Groups such as Canopy in Leeds and Giroscope in Hull have shown the way by doing up empty properties, using the unemployed as labour, at their own expense.
At present the councils don’t want to sell — certainly not at the bargain prices needed to drive regeneration — and the coalition is deterred by its belief in localism from forcing councils to do the right thing. Pickles should reflect that there is another kind of localism. He needs to empower people who want to do up their own environment with their own money — this means getting councils to sell underused assets such as Liverpool’s boarded-up Welsh Streets, where Ringo Starr was born. Pickles and Shapps must act directly on the statist mindset that has held back the northern towns for so long. If they don’t, they will go on being blamed for problems they didn’t cause.
03 NOVEMBER 2011
31 OCTOBER 2011
SOUTHERN STREET, SALFORD
Southern Street in Salford, Greater Manchester, was a row of Victorian terraced houses typical of those built in this former industrial heartland of Britain. Over time the inhabitants of the street were made to leave through a combination of alleged social deprivation, and because of the desire by government to enforce a contentious urban renewal programme. There was an period before demolition when the ‘condemned’ houses seemed almost frozen in time; this was when many of these photographs were taken. Even with the doors and windows boarded up, it is possible to get a sense of the personalities of the people that once lived there. Painted in various tones of red, white, and even purple, the houses reflected the changing tastes of the street’s inhabitants.
Click here SOUTHERN STREET to read about Southern Street in Manchester's Chimp Magazine, WITH PHOTOGRAPHIC ILLUSTRATIONS.
Review by Alex Nikjoo for The Architect's Journal, Critics -->
Stefan Boness’ Southern Street is the latest in a series of books by the Berlin and Manchester based photo journalist that deals with urban development within present-day Manchester
The book shows a single street within the Salford area of Manchester. The Victorian redbrick terraced houses that line the street appear to be uniform; they are all load-bearing brick, all ‘one up-one down’ and they are all boarded-up awaiting demolition.
The initial introduction is followed up with a series of photographs of Southern Street, which take the reader along the road, witnessing each abandoned house, culminating in their demolition and the emptiness left behind in the spaces where the homes once stood. In the introduction Boness asks the reader to search for the personal touches on each building facade. This close inspection gives the reader a sense of the lifestyle, culture and interests of the people who once lived in these condemned dwellings.
Rather than another glorification of the beauty in poverty, Southern Street illustrates a disappearing cultural heritage in Britain due to housing schemes such as the now abandoned Pathfinder Scheme. This was established in 2002 in order to regenerate housing in nine key areas across Britain, through refurbishment, clearance and replacement. Thus the book addresses the immense urban and social changes that have and are still taking place in post-industrial Britain. The houses can be conceived as beautiful and as the articulation of personality in repetitive architecture. Yet in doing this they ultimately become a metaphor for the nostalgia created by the societal transformation that occurred during the privatisation of British industry during the seventies and eighties.
By repeating a similar image over the course of forty pages, Southern Street is addressing the consequences of poor planning and the unforeseen consequences of housing regeneration schemes.
21 OCTOBER 2011
HOMES UNDER THREAT
Sylvia addressed Sheffield University's post-grad planning students, on the effects of planning decisions taken without due regard for settled communities. Read her presentation, that by all accounts gave these would-be planners a great deal to think about. One comment that Sylvia received: "many of the points you were making this morning were more or less repeated by the Harvard professor at the lecture earlier this evening", puts her in the same league as an academic speaker from the top institution in the USA! GOOLE begins at 017. The file was too big to include the photographs that illustrated Sylvia's "lecture" but these were provided by Cllr. I. Blackburn and a selection can be viewed below. We have a lot to thank Sylvia for. In taking on this role, having learned her "trade" so to speak from experience of life in her
20 OCTOBER 2011
Read all about the Shuffleton Street problems - moved across town to Poet's Corner - as well as into Marshfield Road.
20 SEPTEMBER 2011
Seventh Annual General Meeting of Saltwell & Bensham Residents Association Thursday 22 September 2011 at 7-00pm Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall – entrance on Coatsworth Road.Guest speaker Will Palin from SAVE Britain’s HeritagePlease come along with your neighbour. New Build within 12 Months Say Gateshead CouncilWho are they kidding? How can they deliver?
Gateshead Council says it will start building brand new family homes within 12 months and produced an artist impression of how it will all look.Around 100 homes with 6 bedrooms, boulevards to carry traffic, large gardens and a large common area of green space. It looked fantastic. BUT The original proposal was for 3 bedroom houses at £150,000 each or over at 7 times the average salary of £19,000 in our area. 6 bedroom properties will cost £100,000 more and buyers have to put down a 20% deposit or £50,000
Can you or your family afford this? There was an important missing feature from the artist impression; the East Coast Mainline railway from London to Scotland. There was no indication that every 30 minutes an inter city train would be yards from the door. The council demolished 118 soundly built terraced properties. How can 100 detached luxury properties with gardens and a large green space fit into the same space?
There was no mention where the money is coming from! Developers are not building houses for sale and there is no money from the Government to build houses.
From January 2012 single people under 35 will no longer receive Housing Benefit based on one bedroom self-contained accommodation. This may well mean the 6 bed houses will turn into houses in multiple occupation.
We ask the Council to continue renovating existing homes to provide sustainable eco friendly homes. Bring back the houses boarded up into occupation for rent or to buy at a time of housing shortage. Turn the area now being grassed over to be used for allotments. The Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 imposed a duty on councils to provide allotments if six or more people say that they want them.
People have approached us so please write to the Council as well. With all the cuts and loss of jobs in Gateshead we can only assume the Council is expecting to get money from the Regional Growth Fund announced by the Government. Bidding for the first round is now open, and closes shortly.
The Regional Growth Fund is only £1.4 billion or £1,400 million over a three year period, that is £467 million a year for the whole of the country. A house will cost say £100,000 to build so only 4,670 houses could be built if all the money was spent on houses but it won’t be.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, the mate of David Cameron and George Osborne, can bid for the money so where do you think the money will go? The council has to comply with the law on Environmental Impact Assessment, which protects you and your family and the community and the environment.
Saltwell and Bensham Pathfinder Area Residents Association Secretary, Nancy Bone 217 Bensham Road, Gateshead NE8 1US Tel 0191-477-0036 and 07990-760920 E-mail email@example.com For more information go to our Blog www.sbresidents.org
15 SEPTEMBER 2011
SAVE WHALLEY VILLAGE
Support Whalley in The Ribble Valley from over-development.Save Whalley Village Where you can also save Green Space from Development by signing the National Trust Petitionand Government e-petition and e-petition
14 SEPTEMBER 2011
"Shoebox Homes" become the UK norm
17 AUGUST 2011
WHY DOES REGENERATION CREATE SO MANY UGLY BUILDINGSQuote from VIEWPOINT by ARCHITECT OWEN HATHERLEY:
"This is the site of the Leicester Science Park, where new things should be able to occur. A sign says "starting on site summer 2010". There is no sign of it a year later.
What there is, is a new housing development. Little detached boxes in cul-de-sacs, designed for two purposes - maximising car parking and maximising profit. Each house has a little neo-Georgian porch, what the developers call a "gob-on".
What you notice is the emptiness. Not just the huge empty wastes outside, but the empty-headedness of a society that has abandoned all hope that it could create something better than this bloody mess."
28 JULY 2011
PRESS RELEASE For immediate release Issued - 27 July 2011
Merseyside Civic Society criticises ‘bleak’ Granby plan as unimaginative
Design experts criticise council approval of ‘bog-standard’ housing scheme for Toxteth
Design experts appealed to Liverpool’s planning committee on Tuesday to reject ‘bleak’ housing designs for an estate on former demolition land in Toxteth. Merseyside Civic Society (MCS) claimed that the 65 house scheme proposed by builders Gleeson Homes for a site off Kingsley Road, Liverpool 8, with HCA support, represented a ‘bleak return’ for massive public investment, and said Granby residents deserved better after years of delay and disruption.
Chair of Merseyside Civic Society, Dr. Peter Brown, told the committee “the demolition of so many fine Victorian terraces in this area is made all the worse when they are to be replaced by what can only be described as the worst examples of bland, low grade, bog- standard housing”.
Dr Brown said not requesting contributions for open space in inner city streets went against the council’s own policies, and appeared to lower the benchmark for development in Liverpool’s former ‘housing market renewal’ area, on which some £300m has been spent.
“The Society believes a far better scheme should have been demanded for the site and that the outcome will represent a bleak return for the public money invested in site-assembly under so called Housing Market Renewal. “
He said: “Gleesons’ proposal falls woefully short of the ‘transformational change’ that was promised by the Pathfinder initiative. Liverpool can hardly grow population and resolve housing waiting lists by putting 65 units on a site previously occupied by 118.”
The objections were rejected by the Committee and planning permission was granted.
Council planning officials had recommended approval, despite appearing to admit it was not in line with their policy expectations, stating “The proposed layout for the new residential development does not meet the interface requirements that would be generally required by Supplementary Planning Guidance 10 (new residential development), but is not dissimilar to other developments nearby” (page 39).
Merseyside Civic Society claims this shows recent poor schemes are setting a lower standard that allows developers to further dumb down projects, creating an ever declining ‘dash to the bottom’ in terms of design standards.
Dr. Brown said “Demolishing solid town houses for replacement by wastelands and patches of low density estates handicaps the vitality of inner Liverpool. Dropping density to 40 dwellings per hectare from around 100 suffocates viability of retail and other services. This in turn increases resident dependency on use of the car, and makes it more difficult for public transport to serve the area effectively.
MCS also criticised the council for not asking Gleesons provide for open space and other amenities. “We are mystified that no developer contributions are to be sought in this case – contrary to an Executive Board resolution of 7 November 2008 that states contributions would be sought for any residential development of 10 or more dwellings.”
Earlier this month, Granby residents staged a week long picket to block bulldozers from clearing Victorian homes on an adjacent site on Kingsley Road. They were protesting at a council partnership with social landlords Plus Dane and private developers Lovells, who are working on a similar demolition and rebuild scheme to that approved yesterday. ENDS
NOTES FOR EDITORS
[1 MCS has been in existence since 1938 to engage the people of the region, to help to preserve and maintain key elements of the area’s past, such as the Albert Dock and the Lyceum, as well as encouraging and supporting excellence in design. As a charitable organisation, we depend upon subscriptions and membership renewals. We encourage those who share our concerns to attend MCS events and to maintain awareness of, and participate in, our activities. Further information is available at www.merseysidecivicsociety.org.uk, including how to join (£10 for individuals), with payment now possible online via PayPal. -->
FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Dr Peter Brown, Chair, Merseyside Civic Society 0151-794-3122 firstname.lastname@example.org
25 JULY 2011
Message From Gateshead:
Hi, The substance of the article is that Gateshead's joint venture partners are to build 6 bedroom houses within 12 months on the demolition site. This appeared on the front of our free paper last week. It is a masterpiece of deception. The railway at the bottom of the demolition zone has disappeared even though the line is the main line from London to Edinburgh. That is why these streets were called the Railway Streets. The shops at the top end on Saltwell Road have also disappeared despite the fact that the Council do not have permission to demolish them. The article is full of coulds. There is no money available from the public or private sector to build anything, even if there is money to build, building will take place in one of the other areas in the Borough first, probably over to the West, where it is much more rural and pleasanter and higher disposable income.
22 JULY 2011
05 JULY 2011
"The community is all gone – it's all geared to the new community, not the old community of Salford" Shirley
02 JULY 2011
GHOST MILK - Calling Time on the Grand Project
IAN SINCLAIR in The Independent "... the energies of the past live on in the present" "... memory of people and place"" ...where nothing is what it looks like"
15 APRIL 2011
Housing Scandal! Pathfinder: a Postmortem
In this extract from SAVE's latest Pathfinder report, Jonathan Brown, Planner and member of Liverpool Civic Society, examines the legacy of Pathfinder - introducing a detailed critique by Bill Finlay of the recent Audit Commission report on the scheme.SAVE Britain's Heritage
William Palin Secretary SAVE Britain’s Heritage 70 Cowcross Street London EC1M 6EJ Tel: 020 7253 3500 Fax: 020 7253 3400
14 APRIL 2011
Message from SAVE: A nightmare in your street - the ruins of Pathfinder...
Dear all, SAVE is about to publish a savage critique of the recent Audit Commission report on Pathfinder. Our report has been written by former Liverpool planner Bill Finlay, with a devastating introduction by Jonathan Brown of the Liverpool Civic Society. Anyway, we need a good selection of pictures of Pathfinder streets in as many different areas as possible. So this is a plea for you to send me the best you have. We will of course credit photographers.
Many thanks, Will.
William Palin. SAVE Britain’s Heritage. 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ. Tel: 020 7253 3500 Fax: 020 7253 3400
email@example.com SAVE Britain's Heritage
8 APRIL 2011
WELSH STREETS, TOXTETH
Welsh StreetsCross the M62 westwards and see how the folks in Liverpool are alive and kicking!
15 MARCH 2011
By David Usborne in New York - The Independent
11 MARCH 2011
PATHFINDERS-SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE IMPACT FINDS WATCHDOG Judge for yourselves! Now the Town Council and a newly-formed Civic Society has plans for GOOLE AS DIAMOND CITY. When interest in establishing a Civic Society was expressed a few years back, Goole Action Group was informed that the town already had one - Goole Development Trust and Development Trust Association Seems the history, heritage and community spirit of Goole is now seen as valuable asset - with Shuffleton Streets out the way.
01 MARCH 2011
HOW VICTORIAN TERRACED STREETS MIGHT BE UPDATED AND UPGRADED
See what can be done to give Victorian two up two downs a hi-spec refurbishment, 2, 3, 4 bedroom homes with parking, and the existing community hasn't been evicted! Time to move Goolies! Find a vibrant community! Wonder if any landlord wants another Edwardian apartment block?
18 FEBRUARY 2011
Just think about it in terms of Shuffleton and its re-development costs. And now the asset-strippers are at work in neighbouring streets, prising away lead flashing this week.Is there any wonder refurbishment of existing property is a waste of investment.
18 FEBRUARY 2011
MR REGENERATION AND HIS CONSULTANCY FEES
28 JANUARY 2011
This is the author of all our woes! Now he is trying to have his say both ways, having left Birmingham uni. for Manchester. He began it all with his tome on THE NORTHERN WAY or some such academic heresy.
19 JANUARY 2011
HOUSING MINISTER GRANT SHAPPS TALKS UP LIVERPOOL
BUT NOT GOOLE (WE HAVEN'T GOT THE BEATLES TO BANG THE DRUM - ONLY BULLDOZERS)
1) Ted Jeory quotes some very encouraging comments from Housing Minister Grant Shapps in the Sunday Express: Mr Shapps, who is due to visit Liverpool within weeks, told the Sunday Express yesterday that it was “simply not true” that local people wanted demolition and that the council leader was guilty of “extremely dodgy maths”.
He said: “The renovation costs are more likely to be about £35,000 per home. “And the council doesn’t seem to have twigged that it’d be able to claim our New Homes Bonus entitling them to £1,500 per year for six years for each empty home they bring back into use. “They’d only have a small shortfall, which they could fund by selling some of the £20million of assets they’re now sitting on there.
“I agree that some decisions should be local, but sometimes there are matters of a national interest and when you’re talking about a pop icon and the drummer for the world’s biggest ever band then that is of interest.”
Read more and comment: Express.co.uk Sunday 16 January 2011MP-rebuked-over-bid-to-save-Ringo-s-house#ixzz1BC4QZxm5
13 NOVEMBER 2010
GOOLE'S FLAGSHIP FUTURE?
Friends of GAG don't count, it seems, in GTC scheme of things, according to the Town's headman. Wonder what legacy the next hundred plus years will leave for posterity - without the history of working families and their energy "the new town of Goole" c. 1826 would still be living on dockland.
These streets grew up beyond the confines of the Aire & Calder's estate, because the townspeople took charge of their own affairs. It's time that our leading denizens took a few lessons from history and appreciated that the people who came before them, who made homes for themselves when the bigwigs ran out of steam, generated self-empowerment. A greater achievement than copy-cat officialdom displays.
10 NOVEMBER 2010
THIEVES AND VAGABONDS ABOUT
Didn't our Mr. Mayor say only the other week, we are ridding streets of crime? He has pushed it out to those streets still standing - just. Unshaven "casers" entering front yards in broad daylight now. Nosing about in the undergrowth. Cheeky scrap metal merchants, helping themselves to what was nearly invisible, despite being told it was spoken for - waiting until back was turned and helping themselves to the old cast iron guttering and downpipe.
As my family commented: There's no respect for property, privacy or person these days in some places is there.
And I have to add the Police aren't around learning who is about so what we have to do is tell ourselves that these unshaven, vagrant types have to make a living with help of old age pensioners' cast-offs, at a price.
09 NOVEMBER 2010
01 NOVEMBER 2010
Principal of Malcolm Fraser Architects and currently Geddes Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Edinburgh running from 2009 to 201
Speaking in Newcastle, Malcolm Fraser thought the solution is to look at what we have, not what gadgets we can cram into a new house.
‘That’s absolutely bonkers, and everybody knows it in the building industry, we’re just all keeping quiet about it’ We’ve got communities and we’re turning our back on them, we need to care for these rather than concern ourselves with bullshit about knocking down and building new communities.”
It certainly was a passionate night, and the rousing rounds of applause for all those involved showed a certain interest in how greenwashing a new estate might not be the best thing for sustainable housing. A lot of the best slides, as Malcolm pointed out, were all about what an old community already has – shops, a school, industry nearby. Let’s just hope Northern Architecture can take the success of this night and build something better.
And from the past Malcolm Fraser writing in Building Design Pulling down houses is not sustainability 27 May 2005PULLING DOWN HOUSES IS NOT SUSTAINABILITY The Pathfinder programme — government investment of £2 billion over the next 15 years to revitalise nine northern English urban areas — ought to be magnificent news.
Having lived through the urban catharsis of the late 20th century — institutionalised contempt for the built environments we inherited, followed by a reactive timidity towards them — we must have learned by now how to take a good, balanced view of renewal.We might start by looking at the resources we have inherited, namely a mix of industrial and residential. Patrick Geddes’s concept of “conservative surgery” is an excellent tool here — the idea that you repair, alter or conserve the best of the urban fabric while introducing open space and new buildings in place of the poorer.You might imagine that such “surgery” would be unlikely to involve the demolition of Victorian terraced homes, which represent a huge resource, in both social and physical terms, embodying enormous energy — in both the cultural and kilojoule sense. That the Pathfinder programmes are threatening between 200,000 and 400,000 of them with demolition demonstrates that something has gone massively, even obscenely, wrong.The scale is staggering, the obscenity both in the detail (people who love their houses being moved out) and at a city-wide scale.
In Liverpool, for example, the proposed demolition of 20,000 homes has an unhappy symmetry with the 20,000-person waiting list for social housing.That there is failure in these run-down areas is indisputable: but it’s a failure of employment and the spread of wealth, of social housing policies that blight whole areas, of perception and context. To blame this on the buildings in these areas is crazy — especially when those buildings are such successes elsewhere.Their demolition is supported by the standard government view that big, physically dramatic acts, and big business and construction interests are preferable to the sort of small-scale repair and renewal programmes that involve small spends, and small builders, architects and landlords.
The iniquitous VAT regime where 17.5% tax penalises repair and renewal over demolition and new-build of course skews all analysis of the value of our built heritage. But even here the economic benefits of small-scale renewal are so clear that it doesn’t dent the basic case — as demonstrated on ITV’s Tonight Special, where a “derelict”, “failing”, “surplus” terraced house was transformed into a modern, open, insulated home for £18,000, matching the cost of its proposed demolition and way cheaper than a £100,000 replacement.Such makeovers represent one approach.
The comprehensive nature of the Pathfinder programmes should allow us to look at others that combine or subdivide individual properties to achieve market diversity. But the post-war regeneration-by-wrecking-ball model remains, albeit disguised by buzzwords and doublespeak where “slum clearance” programmes are rebranded as “sustainable communities”.But the biggest crime is against the idea of sustainability, its apparent high moral authority abused to justify the wrecking ball. It’s a mystery that sustainability seems only ever to be expressed in terms of new building, rather than as a complete analysis of the costs and benefits.
And it’s a disgrace that this has cast heritage bodies — arguing here for a proper audit of the resources offered by our built environment — as somehow anti-sustainability.The greater truth in all this, that clarifies and guides all others, is that “conservation” and “sustainability” are not separate boxes to tick, not at war with each other, but are, properly applied, one and the same thing: a view of the world we have inherited as a resource that needs treating with care and respect.
29 OCTOBER 2010
The Guardian, Saturday 23 October 2010
29 OCTOBER 2010
HEADS ABOVE THE PARAPET NOW!
According to Mr. Mayor, whose courting days of Madam Mayoress took place down P. Street, all is being demolished in the name of crime - drugs still being peddled elsewhere of course by now. What the Goole T.C. honorary head fails to add is that a family member also occupied a home in P Street much more recently than the parental days of yore. Folks do remember those times, of course, in the days of ERYC grand-standing such residencies via improvement grants to property owners and housing associations, who failed to care for their tenants' indiscretions and worse. That caused the spiral of decline, because owner occupiers began to move out and sold/rented property for putting up more of the anti-social nuisances.
Where were the authorities then? Nowhere to be seen, naturally. Left it to residents to do the policing, reporting, objecting. Few bothered. And so we have to get rid of the buildings when the masses have migrated into other terraced streets. Jefferson Street resident featured not long ago, complaining about self-same troubles, his wife wouldn't use the back gate into the lane because of gangs of nuisances. Will Jefferson Street be allowed to degenerate and be demolished one day?
28 OCTOBER 2010
Ex-Resident of Phoenix and Richard Cooper Streets writes:
I took a wander to the site today and noticed the street plate Phoenix removed no doubt for posterity. Probably it will find a home in the library museum. The fluted chimney pots are being removed very carefully as these are worth in excess of £50 each. As with the reclaimed slates which are worth a lot of money (I wonder if they will find a home in the Beverly area). At this rate the so called demolition will take a very long time indeed.
26 OCTOBER 2010
AS THE BULLDOZERS ROLL AND THE LORRIES CART RUBBLE FROM GOOLE'S STREETS, COMES THIS MESSAGE:
TOO LATE TO BE OF ANY USE TO OUR TOWN - NOTE COMMENTS BY WILL PALIN OF SAVE BRITAIN'S HERITAGE:
Will Palin of campaign group Save Britain’s Heritage said: ‘It’s good news that the coalition has realised that Pathfinder has been an expensive failure. What is absolutely scandalous is that demolitions are continuing, even though in most cases funding for redevelopment is not there. The coalition needs to act quickly and decisively to prevent any further destruction of good housing stock.’
Government to end Pathfinder programme.
26 October, 2010 | By Merlin Fulcher
The government has revealed plans to wind up its controversial £1 billion Housing Market Renewal ‘Pathfinder’ programme
All uncommitted projects will be terminated immediately and the programme’s remaining funding will be absorbed back into government once live projects complete.
Housing minister Grant Shapps explained to the House of Commons: ‘I have visited Pathfinder schemes on many occasions, and some were very good and some had some problems.
‘We will complete all the committed [Housing Market Renewal --> schemes, and we will then roll the funding up into the regional development fund.’
Pathfinder was set up to overhaul nine areas, mainly in the north of England, suffering from low residential demand due to poor quality housing stock.
Between 2002 and 2008 the programme refurbished and ‘improved’ around 59,000 homes, built 3,700 new properties and demolished 16,000.
Will Palin of campaign group Save Britain’s Heritage said: ‘It’s good news that the coalition has realised that Pathfinder has been an expensive failure. What is absolutely scandalous is that demolitions are continuing, even though in most cases funding for redevelopment is not there. The coalition needs to act quickly and decisively to prevent any further destruction of good housing stock.’
In April 2002 the Government announced nine areas needing specific housing market renewal support.
- East Lancashire,
- Hull and East Riding,
- North Staffordshire,
- South Yorkshire.
14 OCTOBER 2010
GOING, GOING, SOON TO BE G O N E BUT WILL IT BE GOOD FOR GOOLE?
PROFESSOR ANNE POWERS of the London School of Economics and a Government Housing Advisor writes to ALAN WILSON of Goole Action Group:
"The Inspector, at the Public Inquiry into the Compulsory Purchase Order, IS NOT CORRECT in saying that knocking down a fully occupied area and attempting to replace it with high value homes would be for the benefit of the area. The North is covered with sites that hoped for this outcome and that have failed ... Middlesbrough is now being asked to revisit its large scale demolition plans near the city centre because there simply isn't the money or the interest in the building industry to carry out alternative building. The same surely applies to Goole."
"... whether mixed communities of high cost housing and low cost housing really work? The simple answer is not very often, particularly in areas of low demand. What does work is people in work, even if it is in low paid work, living in neighbourhoods that are low income and have many low value properties in them and gradually upgrading the area using their incomes to make the existing attractive houses more valuable."
"Liverpool City Council, now controlled by labour, has suspended all of its demolition plans in order to review this problem and in order to deal with the large number of sites that are literally littering the inner city."
"This type of development only rarely brings about regeneration in the type of area you are discussing and the alternative of spending a relatively modest amount on upgrading existing homes is far more useful."
6 SEPTEMBER 2010
Well, do hope our civic reps and soothsayers are hunkered down, ready for the fallout. Perhaps not nuclear, but certainly dust. Will they be standing forth when the bomb site grows weeds?
3 SEPTEMBER 2010
Folks want to live in RC Street, but exist on benefits.
Usual suspects write their usual stuff although "Anti-social hell hole" sums up the place.
Bottles left at our gates by visiting workforce.
Bottles thrown at your place by ?
So much for ERYC doing another of their dozy street scene walks.
Occupiers sent postal info with dates and details.
Residents who fund their own way, support ERYC workforce, put up with nuisances and then find press drivelling about "improvements welcomed".
We might as well pull down the whole town, if Shuffleton Streets are done for.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHUFFLETON AND ELSIE STREET, say?
RIDE DOWN ANY BRICK TERRACED STREET IN GOOLE AND YOU WOULD BE HARD PUT TO DISTINGUISH WHERE YOU WERE, UNLESS OF COURSE IT IS THE ABSENCE OF BOTTLES AT YOUR GATE!
26 AUGUST 2010
GOOLE COURIER FRONT PAGE
Self-important report and image unrepresentative of real actors in this long-running saga. WAIT AND SEE.
3 AUGUST 2010
22 PHOENIX STREET
Take a look at the photograph ending this social history. See 26)
It might stand as a true testament to the solidity of these streets.
Many thanks to Steve Austwick who sent us his comments and this wonderful image of Goole and its story.
15 JUNE 2010
ALTERNATIVE PROPOSALS FOR THE RETENTION AND REFURBISHMENT OF HOMES ON PHOENIX STREET AND RICHARD COOPER STREET, GOOLE
Read WILSON LETTER from SAVE BRITAIN'S HERITAGE
15 JUNE 2010
National Launch of NEW Report on Pathfinder by William Palin, of SAVE BRITAIN’S HERITAGE
Reviving Britain's Terraces: Life after Pathfinder. A new report by Mark Hines Architects - "We have demonstrated that even a modest Victorian terraced house is still capable of meeting our future housing needs." (Mark Hines Architects)
Price: £15 (£13 for Friends)
Note: On request this document file can be emailed to GAG readers
Will Palin, secretary of SAVE BRITAIN’S HERITAGE says "New Labour's Housing Market Renewal (Pathfinder) Initiative has resulted in the destruction of thousands of terraced houses across the north of England. For this report, SAVE, a fierce critic of the scheme, has teamed up with architect Mark Hines to look at how housing earmarked for demolition can be adapted, upgraded and remodelled to a high standard of energy efficiency, creating a range of accommodation and forming exemplar 'eco-communities' of the future."
If you would like to come along to the launch and the buffet:
12-30 pm Saturday 19 June 2010
Venue: Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall Whitehall Road Bensham Gateshead NE8 4LH.
At the corner of Whitehall Road and Coatsworth Road
Main Entrance from Coatsworth Road and car park entrance from Whitehall Road.
Public Transport Details: Go-Ahead routes 53 and 54
please contact Nancy Bone, the Secretary of Saltwell and Bensham Residents Association by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to 217 Bensham Road Gateshead NE8 1US
7 JUNE 2010
COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDER - PUBLIC INQUIRY
20 MAY 2010
Victorian Workers' Housing - Additions and Extensions to save terraced homes in Manchester
10 MAY 2010
Election 2010: New council leader set to order review of Housing Market Renewal initiative
26 APRIL 2010
LIVERPOOL CITY ECHO
Warren Bradley says local authority and HCA had 'probably bit off more than we could chew'
22 APRIL 2010
COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDER
EAST RIDING OF YORKSHIRE CPO CASE Comment from former resident:"It has been tried here so many times, first by putting low renters in posh appartments and the mixed housing and I haven`t seen it work yet. The whole proceedure is written by a Consultant and promises a life in Shangri-la."Read all about it: IS PUBLIC HOUSING READY FOR THE YUPPIES
23 FEBRUARY 2010
30 JANUARY 2010
THE REAL "ADVANCE" GOOLE
SEVENTY SEVEN YEARS LATER, STUFF OF LIFE AS IT USED TO BE LIVED Remembered by Resident FRANK PHILPOTT
RICHARD COOPER STREET 1940
24 AUGUST 2009
THE BATTLE OF ONE BURY RESIDENT TO FAIR COMPULSORY PURCHASE COMPENSATION
24 AUGUST 2009
SAVING BRITAIN'S PAST starts on Aug 24 on BBC Two at 7.30pm
See Tom Dyckhoff's article from the Times
17 JUNE 2009
OLDHAM RESIDENTS FIGHT COMPULSORY PURCHASE
19 MAY 2009
COMPULSORY PURCHASE OF PROPERTY
Google "Andrew Winter and Advance Goole" to read ERYC Report (pdf)
6 FEBRUARY 2009
"Last Man Standing"
Read INSIDE HOUSING -for the latest view of ERYC
Download our campaign poster and show your support!
Yorkshire Ridings Magazine - extract from June / July 2005
Demolition of homes not inevitable - Goole Courier - 09/02/06
BRE Trust - Formerly the Foundation for the Built Environment - a charitable company with research and educational objectives for public benefit
Housing Market Renewal - Description of the Government's 'Pathfinder' renewal programme
Housing Assistance Policy - ERYC Assistance Available for Housing Renewal