There is new hope for Edge Lane's long-awaited regeneration as stay-at-home resident Elizabeth Pascoe plans to move out and let builders move in after a four-year housing battle.
Since 2005, the redevelopment of Kensington and surrounding areas of Liverpool has been put on hold by residents who refused to relocate, but now a High Court ruling means remaining occupants will have no choice but to leave.
BEVEL, a group set up by Elizabeth Pascoe of Adderley Street, Kensington has fought hard to keep the community in their houses, upsetting plans set down for demolition. However, in March this year, the company responsible for change, Liverpool Vision, was given the power to use Compulsory Purchase Orders to facilitate complete clearance of the Edge Lane area and hasten the regeneration process.
Mrs Pascoe will be the last person to leave her home on Adderley Street as her neighbours have already complied with Liverpool Vision’s requests and been rehoused. She said: “When I first knew that this was going to happen I started to arrange to go. I was going to go and live with my sons... that was five years ago. But they (Liverpool Vision) weren’t going to give me enough money to do that so I decided to fight.”
Development Director of Liverpool Vision, Rob Monaghan, has been overseeing the operation and claims his company have provided sufficient funding for relocation. He said: “We have made massive steps to ensure that people are no worse off and are moving in an amicable way. We bought 330 properties by private negotiations, with those people getting the full market value for the properties plus all of their costs paid for and an extra 10% of the value of their property for disturbance.”
Although a lengthy battle ensued, Mrs Pascoe has now admitted defeat and is preparing to move out of her derelict surroundings. She said: “I think that it’s absolutely tragic, everything about my life is being controlled by these people.”
Mr Monaghan and Liverpool Vision will use Compulsory Purchase Orders as a last resort to acquire the 40 remaining houses. He said: “At the end of the day we can’t have one or two individuals holding up the wishes of the vast majority, 99.9% of the community that want to get on and lead a better life.”
Although Mrs Pascoe has received support in her campaign, not all have agreed with her plight. She said: “When this first started I had my door kicked in and my car has had seven sets of wing mirrors.”
Mr Monaghan is now looking to the future of the regeneration which will see Edge Lane widened and houses, schools and public services in the area developed and upgraded.
By Chloe Garfoot, Danny Masters & Louisa Collington
Edge Lane houses have been boarded up for years; YouTube: Elizabeth Pascoe... she's leaving home