The Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust: On site

In Granby 4 Streets, PlusDane and Liverpool Mutual Homes have been on site for some time now. And very gratifying it has been to see them. Still, they’re big organisations with lots of experience and that’s the kind of thing you expect them to do. But now they’ve been joined on site by something wonderful.

So obviously I had to get down there and have a look at this.

Passing Ducie Street. Not sure when that's going to be on site yet.

Passing Ducie Street. Not sure when that’s going to be on site yet.

And entering Cairns Street.

And entering Cairns Street.

All of the 10 Community Land Trust (CLT) houses are on Cairns Street (And see here, by the way, for exactly who’s doing what in the 4 Streets).

Here we are.

Here we are.

Mitie and Clan, the CLT contractors are here.

Beginning work in the shadow of some unique art works!

Beginning work in the shadow of some unique art works!

And Liverpool Mutual Homes are getting on well over the road.

And Liverpool Mutual Homes are getting on well over the road.

Here we are then.

Here we are then.

Empty homes being opened up and worked on for the first time in decades.

Empty homes being opened up and worked on for the first time in decades.

We'll come back to what this is being used for.

We’ll come back to what this is being used for.

Meanwhile I’m keen to get inside one of the houses.

Being stripped back.

Being stripped back.

To it's bare essentials.

To it’s bare essentials.

To see what we're dealing with.

To see what we’re dealing with.

Things like this crack, for example.

Things like this crack, for example.

The contractor who showed me round didn’t seem unduly worried, actually. But obviously the structures will all be looked at very carefully as all this stripping back takes place.

So it's dusty and messy.

So it’s dusty and messy.

But I'm elated to be stood in here after all of these years.

But I’m elated to be stood in here after all of these years.

Looking through a hole in the floor to the works taking place downstairs.

Looking through a hole in the floor to the works taking place downstairs.

And through the brambles on the outrigger to the Plus Dane houses in Beaconsfield Street.

And through the brambles on the outrigger to the Plus Dane houses in Beaconsfield Street.

Down the stairs we go.

Down the stairs we go.

Tinned up for years while initiatives and years passed them by.

Tinned up for years while initiatives and decades passed them by.

Now busy with stripping down and cleaning out.

Now busy with stripping down and cleaning out.

busy with noise, footsteps, hammering and chiselling.

Busy with noise, footsteps, hammering and chiselling.

Sounds coming from next door houses that have been silent for years.

The street full of high-tech equipment.

The street full of high-tech equipment.

And the clearing of greenery.

And the clearing of greenery.

Yes, sadly, the greenery the guerrilla gardeners from here planted up to see the streets through to their future, is now having to be cut back and cut down for the restoration works to take place. It’s sad, and it’s the end of an era. But it’s also the beginning of a new one. An era we weren’t at all sure was going to happen.

Talking to some of the contractors they tell me proudly that last week they were the ones who moved the Hillsborough Memorial in Anfield while works at the football ground are taking place. ‘And we’re being just as careful here. We know how precious this place is.’

The pattern on a bay wall left by cut down ivy.

The pattern on a bay wall left by cut down ivy.

Some of the ivy, of course, having entered the wall1

Some of the ivy, of course, having entered the wall!

And all afternoon...

And all afternoon…

The emptying and clearing continues.

The emptying and clearing continues.

Back and forth, back and forth...

Back and forth, back and forth…

Filling up the skips.

Filling up the skips.

While the rest of the houses await their turn.

While the rest of the houses await their turn.

Meanwhile the lights twinkle on...

Meanwhile the lights twinkle on…

On the greenery still here.

On the greenery still here.

The winter garden waits patiently...

The winter garden waits patiently…

While cut back and die back make space for new lives.

While cut back and die back make space for new lives.

Soon there will be local young people on site and soon the restoring will begin. I’ll be back to talk to them, to show you what’s happening, to talk with the architects and contractors and show you some designs. Of course I will. To show you this continuing miracle of a community taking hold of its own land and restoring its own homes.

By the people, of the people, for the people – as we always say in Granby. We are on our way.

Full story of Granby 4 Streets here

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