Liverpool moves forward on Welsh Streets revamp
Liverpool City Council has entered into a six-month exclusivity agreement with build-to-rent developer PlaceFirst to redevelop the Welsh Streets in Dingle.
PlaceFirst will survey the vacant houses and draw up new plans. The scheme will be aimed at the private rental market.
The council said it hoped a significant proportion of the 300 homes could be refurbished, with some knocked ‘three into two’ to make them larger and appeal to families.
The houses in the poorest condition and beyond viable refurbishment will be demolished, with the possibility of creating community open space and new properties in their place.
The move follows a decision in January 2015 by the then Secretary of State Eric Pickles to overturn a planning inspector’s approval for a scheme, which would have seen 271 homes replaced by 154 new houses, along with 37 refurbished terraced properties.
Pickles also scrapped long-standing planning and regeneration guidance which supported the need for large scale demolition, and replaced it with an approach that favours retention and refurbishment of older stock.
The deal was agreed following a vote by Liverpool City Council’s cabinet, which met on Friday 5 February.
David Smith-Milne, managing director of PlaceFirst, said: “The approval of the six-month exclusivity agreement will allow PlaceFirst to undertake comprehensive surveys of the existing empty homes and to understand what opportunities there are to integrate these properties into a wider masterplan including new family homes and great public spaces.
“PlaceFirst has significant experience in remodelling and refurbishment of empty period properties and we do not underestimate the scale of the challenge facing us at the Welsh Streets. The properties will no doubt be in varying degrees of condition and each property will present its own unique challenges. That said, we remain quietly confident a solution can be reached that will deliver genuine, long-term improvements for the Welsh Streets and the wider community”