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Plans to demolish almost 300 houses surrounding Ringo Starr’s birthplace

January 21, 2013

Plans to demolish almost 300 houses surrounding Ringo Starr’s birthplace have been slammed as “absurd and laughable”.

Up to 280 homes will be demolished in Liverpool’s Welsh Streets area, as part of a proposal put forward by the city council and housing association Plus Dane Group.

Just 16 houses on Madryn Street, where the Beatle was born, will avoid the wrecking ball along with another 16 on nearby Kelvin Grove.

The demolition is billed as “making way for more than 150 affordable, high-quality” new homes.

But it has angered objectors from the Welsh Streets Homes Group (WSHG).

They say it will destroy an historic Victorian neighbourhood and will wreck the character of the area in which Ringo was born and raised.

Nina Edge, of WSHG said: The council’s decision is absurd and laughable. It devalues the new builds and existing homes alike.

“There’s no great demand for new houses but there’s lots of interest in these old homes, especially from college graduates.

“We have a fully developed and costed scheme that would see most of the houses saved for people who have expressed an interest in living in them.

“They have had the opportunity to take the Kelvin Grove and Madryn Street houses out of demolition since May, when they had the chance to save them.

“The council didn’t have to wait until now. They kept people living in fear until November, being threatened with eviction and demolition.

“It’s an awful way to treat your taxpayers.

“Creating ugly new homes around these lovely old houses will simply create an oasis of Victorian charm surrounded by tat. It is not right and it is time the Government stepped-in again to stop it.”

Liverpool City Council commissioned property experts DTZ to carry out an assessment of the plans ahead of the submission of a planning application.

DTZ said the plans are the most effective method to support the regeneration of the Welsh Streets.

But Nina insisted that the plans have been drawn up to silence The Beatles fans who wanted Ringo Starr’s home saved.

She added: “The council’s plans aren’t motivated by urban design experts or a desire to make a place for people to live in.

“All that’s important is saving Ringo Starr’s house to silence those people to fought to save it, but they will not silence us.

“Our campaign is now about people who want to come in and buy these old houses.”

WSHG carried out a survey in the local area about their own design proposals, with 93 per cent of over 300 people wanting more refurbishment.

According to Liverpool City Council a survey of 181 residents showed 72 per cent in favour of new-build homes.

Cabinet member for housing, Cllr Ann O’Byrne, said: “Everything we are doing is aimed at creating a vibrant, attractive and sustainable neighbourhood, with a good mix of housing.

“Residents have endured too many delays in the revival of their neighbourhood.”