Urban History

The incidence of slum clearance in England and Wales, 1955–85

Jim Yelling a1
a1 Dept of Geography, Birkbeck College, London, W1P 2LL


The article begins by showing the differential impact of slum clearance on regions, conurbations and major cities through the three decades of the slum clearance campaign which began in 1955. It discusses the main methods of clearance procedure, the nature of compensation and the relation of clearance to ‘unfit’ housing. House condition surveys revealed an increasing mismatch between patterns of unfit housing and those of slum clearance and this began, it is argued, in the 1960s. Factors such as the development of property markets, and the rise of owner occupation, had differential economic and political effects which in turn reacted on the incidence of clearance.