June 15, 2012
Ringo Starr's former home saved from demolition, 9 Madryn Street, Dingle, Liverpool.
Residents have successfully campaigned to save the birthplace of Ringo Starr.
The birthplace of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has been saved from demolition following a public campaign, Britain's housing minister Grant Shapps has announced.
The local authority in Liverpool, the city in northwest England where the Fab Four grew up, had planned to demolish 9 Madryn Street as part of a regeneration scheme.
But Shapps intervened after a group of residents wrote to him expressing their fears that the plans would tear apart their community in the inner-city Dingle area of Liverpool.
About 30 properties will now be refurbished instead of knocked down, including Starr's former home, which is currently unoccupied and covered in graffiti left by Beatles fans.
Announcing the decision outside the property, Shapps and Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson were caught in an angry confrontation between local residents in favour of the demolition and those against it.
"As we've seen this afternoon, communities are at war with each other about whether this was a good idea or not," said Shapps. "My view is that it's not a good idea to destroy homes."
Part of the contention is based on the fact although Starr was born there, he actually only lived there until he was four years old.
"The house has no associations with the success of The Beatles as a group", and "is not architecturally or historically significant enough to match listing criteria" a spokesperson for English Heritage told the BBC.
Around 400 properties in the area will still be pulled down under the new plans.
Starr, 71, is one of the last two surviving Beatles along with Paul McCartney. He released his latest solo album, Ringo 2012, in January.