500 more homes set to be demolished across Stoke-on-Trent
ALMOST 500 more condemned homes are being bulldozed across Stoke-on-Trent's clearance areas.
The latest demolition programme is being funded by a £3.57 million Government grant to clear streets left abandoned by Renew North Staffordshire.
That figure has been match-funded by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
As well as knocking down a total of 480 houses, the cash will be used to buy 79 properties from homeowners stuck in regeneration areas.
Councillor Ruth Rosenau, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "The Government money has allowed the council to continue its programme of acquisition of sub-standard properties, demolition, land treatment and resident relocation.
"The £3.57 million received has already been allocated, and has directly been used in line with our programme of work, to buy 40 properties and demolish 240 properties in areas including Middleport, Shelton and Hanley.
"The city council has committed funding to match this money pound-for-pound, so a total of 79 property acquisitions and 480 demolitions is taking place."
Demolitions and acquisitions are taking place at Hanley's Dresden Street, Ludlow Street and Bucknall New Road clearance areas, which are part of the City Waterside project.
Houses will also be knocked down in Shelton's Parkhouse Street clearance area, which includes Bedford Road, Rectory Road, Argyle Street, Clarke Street, Grove Place and Havelock Place.
Other clearance areas affected include Pyenest Street and Raymond Street, in Shelton; and Shirley Street and Travers Street, in Middleport; as well as parts of Meir and Fegg Hayes.
In addition, seven properties in Port Street, in Middleport, are being bought to be refurbished.
Housing Minister Grant Shapps announced the Government cash in a visit to Hanley in November.
But he warned that the cash could not be used to build houses on the flattened sites.
It means the areas could be left empty for years before private developers move in to build homes.
Steven Pritchard, chairman of Portland and Cobridge Residents' Association, in Cobridge, said: "This is an ongoing issue with no simple solution.
"The main issue we have is people living in good homes are living next door to properties in a state of collapse.
"It's magnet for crime and antisocial behaviour."
Renew North Staffordshire was disbanded in April 2011 to leave swathes of derelict sites across Stoke-on-Trent.
The quango spent more than £120 million buying 1,696 homes and businesses in its seven-year lifespan.
But back in February 2004, Renew had revealed grand plans to demolish 14,000 homes and build 12,000 homes by 2024. It also planned to refurbish 10,000 privately-owned properties and 20,000 council or housing association homes.