Work begins on refurbishing Liverpool’s Welsh Streets

29 July 2016

Work begins on refurbishing Liverpool’s Welsh Streets

August will see the first phase of plans to restore and revive Liverpool’s Welsh Streets get underway, with a pilot scheme bringing the terraced houses on Voelas Street and High Park Street back into use.

A total of 35 terraced houses will be refurbished and reconfigured, to create 25 homes of varying sizes, ranging from one to four bedrooms. Plans include a range of adaptations, including converting three houses into two to create larger rooms and living spaces.

SAVE successfully led the campaign to save the Welsh Streets, which were threatened with demolition under the Housing Market Renewal Initiative known as Pathfinder. As a result of SAVE’s campaigning the policy was scrapped in 2011, with Grant Shapps MP describing the policy as ‘an obsession with demolition over refurbishment.’ An attempt to continue Pathfinder proposals in Liverpool’s Welsh Streets was stopped by the Secretary of State in 2014, following a public inquiry.

SAVE welcomes this pilot scheme of refurbishment and regeneration, and hopes it will be rolled out to the other - currently tinned up - houses in the Welsh Streets.

Mike Fox, Deputy Director of SAVE said: “The Welsh Streets have been left to languish in dereliction for far too long.  These are eminently useable terraces and we are confident the pilot scheme will prove a success. We look forward to the refurbishment of the wider Welsh Streets site following on soon after.

“SAVE’s campaign against the demolition of the Welsh Streets was a long fought battle over many years, and these works are a vindication of what we argued at the public inquiry – that these houses can be restored and reused, and that mass demolition was not, and is not, the answer to terraced houses.

“The ongoing success of the Granby Streets project, including Assemble Architects’ Turner Prize win in 2015, is one example of what can be achieved with the retention and reuse of terraced homes. Similar successes can be achieved at the Welsh Streets.”


In January 2016, Manchester based developer Place First signed an exclusivity agreement with Liverpool City Council to prepare proposals to restore and reuse the existing Welsh Street houses. This followed the Secretary of State’s 2015 ruling that demolition proposals for the site should not be allowed to proceed, as then proposed by Liverpool Council and developer Plus Dane.

SAVE took a key role at the 2014 Welsh Streets public inquiry appearing as the only Rule Six party, and was represented by six expert witnesses, each of whom submitted detailed evidence on why the demolition application was flawed and should not proceed. The Secretary of State’s ruling agreed almost entirely with the case made by SAVE, and instructed that renovation and refurbishment of the houses should be pursued, and not demolition.

The Housing Market Renewal Initiative known as Pathfinder placed some 400,000 Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses in the north of England under direct threat of demolition; it is estimated that over 30,000 homes were demolished and thriving communities broken up and dispersed before the policy was scrapped.

For more information on SAVE’s campaign to save the Welsh Streets please see our online report produced after the 2014 public inquiry.

Copies of SAVE’s 2006 Pathfinder report are still available to purchase here

Note to editors:

1. For more information please contact Mike Fox, Deputy Director at SAVE on 0207 253 3500 or

2. SAVE Britain’s Heritage has been campaigning for historic buildings since its formation in 1975 by a group of architectural historians, writers, journalists and planners. It is a strong, independent voice in conservation, free to respond rapidly to emergencies and to speak out loud for the historic built environment.

Press release issued by SAVE Britain’s Heritage

70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ

Registered Charity 269129

Tel. 020 7253 3500  Email

Follow SAVE on Twitter: @SAVEBrit

Donate to SAVE via Justgiving

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