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The Welsh Streets Home Group under-stand that Liverpool City Council and Plus Dane have withdrawn their legal appeal against the 2014 Welsh Streets Public Inquiry decision.
The controversial decision, made by then Secretary of State Eric Pickles, to refuse planning permission to demolish 440 houses in Liverpool’s Welsh Streets now stands. A campaign to retain at least some of the houses was fought over a 12 year period by local residents, who reluctantly agreed not to oppose the demolition plans after around 10 % of the site was earmarked for refurbishment.
The campaigners met to reflect on the announcement today, and agreed that they are relieved the appeal has now been dropped. There were concerns that it would have resulted in further delay, further cost, and increased tension among residents who from the start were divided in their ambitions for the Welsh Streets in L8. Although residents initially felt an appeal might help to move the troubled regeneration scheme forward, it offered no route to delivery of a scheme. Even if an appeal succeeded, funds to deliver the scheme, which had included the refurbishment of just 37 houses were lost in 2014. People living in or around the Welsh Streets, or who work on the scheme, all seem to want to achieve a result as soon as possible ending 12 years of uncertainty.
Nina Edge secretary and spokesperson for the Welsh Streets Home Group said
“ The appeal was announced almost a year ago, and now it has apparently been dropped. Fingers crossed that Liverpool City Council and Plus Dane have now got an alternative vision for the area. We welcome any moves on the ground to finally deliver a scheme that gives the people of the Welsh Streets the new or refurbished homes they have longed for.
We know that new financial offers to increase the number of refurbished streets were tabled with Liverpool City Council in June this year. WSHG have had informal discussions with a couple more financial backers. All of these offers are from local companies or people with experience of refurbishing with Liverpool Communities. Now the appeal has been dropped, who knows – maybe more people will step up with the resources we need to deliver a really good scheme. We are hoping for a new beginning.”