Someone must be on some pretty strong drugs here in Rochdale as the reverse is happening.
Homes have been flattened and the resulting wasteground has now been planted with wildflowers. But fear not, this time Rochdale Council hasn't gone to pot. Instead, have they gone straight for the Class A's? Opium Poppies?
The story has come out as a result of some pretty far-out spin...even by Rochdale Council/RDA standards.
Despite millions of pounds being pumped into Rochdale through the government Pathfinder scheme for new homes, word on the (bombed out) streets of Central Ward is that the scheme has spectactularly gone to seed.
It seems that in a work of sheer genius, the Rochdale Development (sic) Agency and their buddies have actually demolished more houses that have been built.
In the past few years, confident billboards where put up around the demolition sites bragging that "Rochdale is Booming". Today those embarressing reminders of civic waste and mismanagement have been quietly taken down. Rochdale is officially not booming - yet the huge salary cheques to the architects of Rochdale's failed regeneration are still being cashed. Obviously not performance related pay.
Dill ? Doe ?
About £250,000 a year covers the salaries of RDA boss John Hudson and RMBC Chief Exec Roger Ellis. Put together the two form a full wit. But the joke is on Rochdale.
"Much needed homes" is the cry whenever politicians and regeneration consultants want their friendly MP to pursuade the local planning committee to approve profitable development schemes. Rochdale has had its fair share of dodgy planning approvals but even the straightforward ones have led to civic mismanagement that is now being covered up with expensive media spin and waffle.
The recent poppy fields press release is gushing:
"...Comments such as 'beautiful', 'stunning', ''it lifted me' and 'why can't we have that in our area' have been used to describe a formerly unused piece of land in Entwisle Road..."
Eh? Formerly unused land? Until recently people lived there in perfectly serviceable homes.
As the wheels continue to fall off regeneration in Rochdale, local communities are being badly let down.
But at least they get a bunch of flowers for their trouble.