The £4.4m street in one of Liverpool’s most deprived areas

A street in one of south Liverpool's most deprived areas is being transformed by a £4.4 million redevelopment approved by Liverpool Council.

The Tunstall Street development, which will see 25 terraced houses brought back into use, has been in the pipeline since 2018.

In February this year, a report to cabinet approved the release of millions of pounds of funds for the scheme.

The funding is made up of a £4.4 million investment by the council and includes an £830,000 transfer from the Picton Housing Capital Scheme and £1.24 million from the Strategic Housing Development Fund.

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Tunstall Street, which borders Archbishop Blanch School near Smithdown Road, had been in a state of increasing dereliction since 2006, when it was earmarked for demolition as part of the now defunct Housing Market Renewal Initiative.

One side of the street was demolished alongside several other streets in the area in 2009 and 2010, shortly before the controversial Pathfinder Scheme was brought to a close by the coalition government in 2011.

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Tunstall Street forms part of Webster Triangle where the Homes for £1 scheme operates, but the ECHO understands the properties in the street were considered too expensive and difficult to refurbish through Homes for £1, due to their condition and size.

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The council is understood to have sought multiple ways of redeveloping the area including seeking a viable demolition and rebuild option and offering the properties to a social landlord. Unfortunately, these did not prove viable.

The council carried out a procurement process to identify a contractor for the necessary works.

This process was won by Flanagans, and contracting works were provided by Kier Services.

The council spokesperson said: "Once on site, as works commenced and plaster, doors and window frames removed, it became evident that a number of the properties had significant underlying issues that had not been previously identified

"With works already underway the council had little choice but to extend the value of the contract to meet the cost of the unexpected works.

"There were further delays caused by Covid-19 but site is now fully operational. In fact, the first two homes have been completed and converted into one larger home which now houses a large family who otherwise would have been homeless.

"We expect more units to be complete in next few months and scheme to finish middle of 2021, Covid willing."

In 2018 a proposal for Tunstall Street's redevelopment was approved by Liverpool Council.

On the Flanagan Group website, the company says of the scheme: "Tunstall Street is a row of Victorian terraced properties facing the new Archbishop Blanche School off Smithdown Road, Liverpool.

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"The street was acquired by Liverpool City Council as part of the 'Housing Market Renewal Initiative' with the intention of including the street in a wider demolition and new build programme.

"However, the removal of the HMRI funding and a subsequent change in Government policy has made this aspiration unachievable. After the withdrawal of funding, the houses have stood empty for a number of years.

"The 25 remaining 3 bedroom properties have been excluded from the neighbouring Homes for £1 scheme due to both the level of intensive work required and the challenging nature of on-street parking in the street, which fronts on to the new Archbishop Blanch school and is a significant through route for school traffic.

"The condition of the properties have deteriorated further over the winter and emergency works were secured in order to ensure against further demolition.

"The Council have undertaken an assessment of the site and the refurbishment was the most economic effective model over demolition and rebuild.

"The Flanagan Group took possession of the site in 2018 and have commenced works as instructed."

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