Magazine article Public Finance

MPs Criticise Plans for Wholesale Demolition of Empty Homes

Magazine article Public Finance

MPs Criticise Plans for Wholesale Demolition of Empty Homes

Article excerpt

Plans to demolish up to 200,000 homes in the Midlands and North of England have been strongly criticised by MPs.

Pathfinder programmes set up by the government to raise demand for housing should review demolition schemes and consult residents further over the future of their neighbourhoods, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister select committee said this week.

The nine pathfinder schemes, which will receive more than £1.2bn by 2008, expect to demolish about 10,000 homes by next year while refurbishing about 24,000. Over the next 20 years, the number of homes demolished could reach 200,000.

'There is a risk that this initiative will be seen as a major demolition programme, which will repeat the mistakes of previous clearance programmes that destroyed the heritage of areas,' says a report published by the committee on April 5.

Since the pathfinders got under way last year, the number of empty homes has fallen. But it is not yet clear whether the demand for housing will be sustained. …

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