Minister tries to save Ringo Starr's former home
A government minister has moved to stop controversial plans to demolish Beatle Ringo Starr's former home.
Liverpool City Council wants to pull down the house, where the drummer was born and lived for three months, as part of a massive regeneration scheme.
But Housing Minister Grant Shapps has written to the council calling for a temporary reprieve for 9 Madryn Street.
He wants conservationists to have more time to put forward their ideas for preserving the terraced house.
'All options considered'
Mr Shapps said the house was considered by many as a "culturally important building".
"That is why, before a single bulldozer rumbles along Madryn Street, I want to ensure that every option has been considered," he said.
"In particular I want local community groups to have the opportunity to put forward viable proposals to preserve this historic house."
He added: "It is right that the people of Liverpool themselves decide whether they want Ringo Starr's house to be demolished or to Let It Be."
The government has also received a request from campaign group Save Britain's Heritage to direct Liverpool City Council to halt the demolition and sell off the land.
A total of 445 pre-1919 terraced houses will be torn down as part of the scheme.
A nearby home, 10 Admiral Grove, where Starr, now 70, lived for 20 years, will remain standing.
Liverpool City Council said the properties were "beyond economic repair".
A spokesman said the council would consider the minister's request, but said: "Grant Shapps may not be aware of the fact that we have consulted extensively with local residents over these plans and the overwhelming majority are in favour of them.
'Sick of delays'
"Residents have been fully involved in developing the proposals and have shown they want decent homes to replace houses which have long passed their lifespan.
"They are telling us that they are absolutely sick of the delays and the conditions they have to live in. They want the city council to demolish these properties as soon as possible so that they can get on with their lives."
The spokesman added: "It is vital for local people that this scheme goes ahead. We have not been helped by the massive cuts, but we are determined to get on with this work to improve the lives of local residents."
The childhood homes of John Lennon - Mendips, in Menlove Avenue - and Sir Paul McCartney - in Forthlin Road - are popular tourist attractions run by the National Trust.
George Harrison's Arnold Grove childhood home remains a private house.