HC Deb 24 February 1966 vol 725 cc597-8
1. McBride

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what were the results of the first annual survey of derelict land in Wales carried out by local authorities in response to Circular 55/64 issued by the Minister of Housing and Local Government in September 1964.

The Minister of State, Welsh Office, (Mr. Goronwy Roberts)

The survey showed that there were some 14,200 acres of derelict land in Wales at 31st December, 1964. Of this 8,300 acres were considered by the local authorities to justify treatment. I shall, with permission, circulate a summary of the results in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. McBride

Will my hon. Friend, as an outcome of this valuable report, take every step to arrest the spread of land dereliction? In this connection, to what extent has the reimbursement of local authorities which assist in the work been considered?

Mr. Roberts

Every effort has been made to encourage local authorities to step up action in this matter. My hon. Friend and the House will see from the figures to be published in the OFFICIAL REPORT that a good start has already been made. As regards the grant system, to which I understood my hon. Friend to refer, he will know that in the recent White Paper on Investment Incentives, it was stated that the grant will remain at 85 per cent., which we consider to be a sufficient inducement for local authorities to proceed.

Following are the figures for each county:

Counties (including County Boroughs) Total acreage Proportion of acreage justifying treatment Acreage restored in 1964 Acreage proposed for restoration in 1965
Anglesey 124 124
Breconshire 270 250 11
Caernarvonshire 2,422 1,298 173
Cardiganshire 23 23
Carmarthenshire 764 442 3 61
Denbighshire 1,642 923 15 56
Flintshire 643 205 38 6
Glamorgan 2,560 2,125 177 62
Monmouthshire 4,671 2,768 9 24
Montgomeryshire 30
Pembrokeshire 1,038 142 150 125
Radnorshire 4 4 2
Totals 14,191 8,304 405 507

Note: For the purposes of the circular, derelict land was defined as land so damaged by industrial or other development that it was incapable of beneficial use without treatment. As the intention of the survey was to identify the hard core of derelict land likely to be treated annually if dealt with by public bodies, local authorities were asked to exclude sites subject to planning conditions or other statutory arrangements for restoration or landscaping. Also excluded from the definition were sites on which development was still taking place, urban sites cleared as part of the programme of redevelopment and disused service installations which were largely subject to special statutory or other arrangements.

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