Pathfinder housing scheme to be wound up

Madryn Street Housing Market Renewal has led to many streets earmarked for demolition

The government is to end a controversial housing regeneration programme in England four years earlier than planned.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps is finishing the £1bn Pathfinder Housing Market Renewal scheme.

It was targeted at parts of the North West, the Midlands, the North East and Yorkshire.

But some councils are seeking urgent clarification from the government over the funding for some projects.

Start Quote

It has been an exercise in social cleansing”

End Quote Will Palin Save Britain's Heritage

"I have visited Pathfinder schemes on many occasions, and some were very good and some had some problems," said Mr Shapps.

"We will complete all the committed [Housing Market Renewal] schemes, and we will then roll the funding up into the regional development fund."

However a spokesman for Oldham/Rochdale Housing Market Renewal, one of nine areas which was targetted by the Pathfinder programme, said, "We're still trying to get clarification over what happens at the end of this financial year."

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said all projects which had funding until the end of the financial year would be completed.

The end of Pathfinder was welcomed by Will Palin of campaign group Save Britain's Heritage who said it had been "an expensive failure."

"Perfectly good houses have been demolished when they could have been refurbished or renovated," claimed Mr Palin.

"We estimate that 16,000 homes have been demolished and only 3,000 new ones have been built."

He described it as an "exercise in social cleansing".

When the scheme was introduced nine areas were said to need specific housing market renewal support: Birmingham/Sandwell, East Lancashire, Hull and East Riding, Manchester/Salford, Merseyside, Newcastle/Gateshead, North Staffordshire, Oldham/Rochdale and South Yorkshire.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More England stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • HobbitHobbit review

    Nicholas Barber asks whether The Battle of the Five Armies is worthwhile or unnecessary

Programmes

  • Digital candlesClick Watch

    Inside the 'Harry Potter' church, using technology to explore "digital empathy".

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.