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October 1962


Slum clearance
 
   Wigan Corporation are showing a commendable awareness in tackling the slum clearance programme which was first approved by the Ministry in September, 1955. The programme was designed to cover 2,104 sub-standard houses and such has been Wigan's progress that the borough now compares favourably with other Lancashire towns.
   The speed of the slum clearance programme is dictated largely by the speed at which new houses and flats can be erected to rehouse displaced families. An official count taken in June last showed that the Corporation had dealt with and rehoused the occupiers of 1,265 houses and in addition there are another 450 properties where the occupiers are simply awaiting alternative accommodation.
   Recently the Corporation applied to the Ministry for approval to a slum clearance order covering houses in Canal Street and Holt Street which are off Woodhouse Lane. This is the first time that such a procedure has been adopted by the Wigan Corporation. In the past the practice has been to rely on individual orders. There is little doubt that the application in respect of Canal Street and Holt Street areas will receive official sanction. The families who will be removed under this slum clearance order will be rehoused in 119 dwellings which are to be built at Dumbarton Green. These displaced families will in effect just walk across the road to their new homes. Preparation work has already been started on the new dwellings at Dumbarton Green and the first properties will be available for letting by July next year. Seventy dwellings will have been completed and ready for occupation at Dumbarton Green by the end of 1963.
   Commenting on the slum clearance programme this week a municipal spokesman said that the Corporation were well in advance of schedule. In the last twelve months 850 sub-standard houses have been dealt with. In anticipation of the completion of the programme a list of 475 houses has been submitted for a supplementary slum clearance programme, but with the number of improvement and standard grants which are at present being given at the request of the Government, this programme is a little fluid at the moment. "It could be that by time we get round to them these houses will have been brought up to standard and rendered fit for human habitation," the spokesman said. The municipal desire is that property owners will take advantage of the facilities available and will improve their property so that it won't drop to the point where it is unsatisfactory.

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