Welsh Streets CPO considered

A proposal to compulsorily purchase (CPO) the eight remaining property interests needed for the regeneration of the Welsh Streets is to be considered by Liverpool City Council.

The Mayor’s Cabinet is being asked to give approval to acquire the last of the 311 interests needed to deliver phases one and two of the £15 million scheme.

Three of the eight sites have already been cleared, two are residential properties and three are commercial units. Five of the sites are already vacant.

It will enable the scheme – which is backed by the majority of local residents – to move forward as quickly as possible if it is given the go ahead at a forthcoming planning inquiry.

Under the plans, 280 homes will be demolished to be replaced by 150 new houses, and 37 terraced properties – including the former home of Beatle Ringo Starr – will be refurbished.

Councillor Ann O’Byrne, Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for housing, said: “Our plans were supported by more than 70 percent of local people following a thorough and detailed consultation, so we are confident that we will get the green light to proceed at the planning inquiry.

“We want to make sure we are in the best possible position to drive forward the regeneration at the conclusion of the inquiry. Purchasing the small number of remaining properties will enable us to do that.

“The residents of the Welsh Streets have waited far too long for regeneration. They have shown real determination and fantastic community spirit, to fight for a future where boarded-up, derelict properties are replaced by modern, family homes.

“Some are living in damp, cold conditions and it is having a major impact on their health. We owe it to them to make sure we deliver this project as quickly as possible, if we get the outcome the local community so desires.”

Under the proposals, the new homes for the local community and new residents will be built to a high standards and will be available for affordable rent and sale, providing a diverse mix of housing for the area designed to be energy efficient and spacious, with many including gardens.

The Welsh Streets plans form part of the wider regeneration of the Princes Park neighbourhood, with more than 80 percent of the 2,500 properties in the renewal area being retained.

The scheme was approved by the council’s planning committee in August but called in for public inquiry by Secretary of State, Eric Pickles. No date has yet been set.

The CPO proposal will be considered by the Cabinet on Friday 8 November.