Dec 27 2007 by Nick Coligan, Liverpool Echo

ABOUT 150 Merseyside homes can finally be demolished after a high court judge backed a multi-million pound regeneration scheme.

A last-ditch legal challenge by three objectors to plans to buy up the terraced houses and surrounding industrial land has failed.

It means a proposal to build 400 homes, shops, a pub and community facilities on Bootle’s Klondyke estate can start.

Work has already begun on more than 150 houses on former industrial sites off Hawthorne Road.

The ultimate aim of regeneration organisation NewHeartlands is to create a modern “urban village” of up to 1,400 properties alongside the Leeds-Liverpool canal.

Regneration officials believe two-up, two-down homes in the Klondyke estate, based in Staley Street, Humphrey Street and parts of Willard Street and Monfa Road, are too small for modern living.

NewHeartlands’ plans were held up when some residents objected to Sefton council’s compulsory purchase order (CPO).

Although the government backed the CPO in June after a public inquiry, anti-demolition campaigners again challenged it at the high court last week.

The council’s housing market renewal director Alan Lunt said: “Despite many challenges to our proposals over several years the high court decision reiterates the compelling need for regeneration in this area.

“The great progress we have made to date is only the start.

“The speed of progress will now increase and the community can look forward to a much brighter future as a result.”

Regeneration boss Cllr Ian Maher said: “We firmly believe these proposals will benefit this community and the wider area and now intend to press ahead with this important work.”