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Ringo who? What?

Grant Shapps gave out £35m to demolish terraced houses without realising

Written by . Published on September 20th 2012.

Ringo who? What?

FORMER Housing Minister Grant Shapps accidentally signed off Liverpool's Welsh Streets regeneration project without realising it would destroy the house in which Ringo Starr was born, a court was told yesterday.

Number 9 Madryn Street, in Dingle, was set to be bulldozed by Liverpool City Council alongside 400 other terraced homes off Park Road.

But yesterday the High Court heard that the Conservative Party chairman had not been told that the house would be demolished, nor, it was claimed, another 5,000 terraces around the country, when he announced a £35.5 million regeneration project last November.

The money was earmarked for 13 of the areas worst hit by the closure of the £2.25 billion HMR programme, including Liverpool.

At the time, Shapps boasted that the grants were the antithesis to Labour's Pathfinder policy which, he sais, was rooted in the demolition of the “classic English terraced house”.

However it later emerged the grants would be used to fund exactly that and councils were intending to spend around 98 per cent of the money on demolition.

Heritage campaigners argued this was not the original purpose of the fund and it flew in the face of Coalition policy to protect historic terraces. They called for a full judicial review and yesterday, after Government lawyers admitted the money was allocated unlawfully, it was granted by Mrs Justice Lang.


The Government had argued against the review, saying it would be impossible to claw the money back because too much of it had already been spent or committed by the councils. 

Government barrister James Eadie QC said it would be "legally extremely problematic, if possible at all" to unravel the payments which had not been "ring-fenced". 

Save Britain’s Heritage said that the regeneration project amounted to a continuation of “Pathfinder by stealth” and its barrister, Richard Harwood, said the wrongly allocated grants should either be recouped from the councils or a condition imposed that they be spent on refurbishing properties. 

Marcus Binney, SAVE's President, later said the ruling “opens the door towards one of the most important and productive regeneration schemes in Britain, with renovation of thousands of empty homes and local landmark buildings". 

In June, after something of an outcry, Shapps hot-footed it to Liverpool to reprieve 9 Madryn St, calling it a “beacon of Beatlemania”. Some homes on the street were spared, but another 400 are still earmarked for demolition. 

Welsh Street campaigners have put forward alternative designs to make do and mend the existing properties. 

See here for more.



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SaladDazeSeptember 20th 2012.

Grunt Shapes (my, he even has his own hash tag) often moonlights as Michael Green. What a lad. www.independent.co.uk/…/--stand-up-8102883.html…
He's a complete Atos-er and in a team which plays at the Wankdorf Stadium.

Mary HuxhamSeptember 21st 2012.

SAVE do nothing but interfere in peoples' lives as they continue to do in the Welsh Streets.What gives them the right to tell residents what they should or should not aspire to, after living in damp, subsiding properties for years. They need to come & live in the real world instead of living in the past. They don't even use their own cash but keep asking for thousands in donations to help them save an old run down building or other. The past is dead & gone.
People are more important than ancient decrepit buildings and need decent homes for their families.
Welsh St residents have unanimously approved of Plus Dane plans to regenerate the area and have had enough interference in their lives.People in this area don't care about Ringo's house they are just annoyed that it may be kept. Those terraces to be left standing will just make the area look ridiculous, in the midst of new houses. Wake up ancient house lovers!

Dai YoungSeptember 24th 2012.

Welsh streets in Dingle? Toxteth, surely?

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