HC Deb 16 December 1970 vol 808 cc1340-1
32. Miss Fookes

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now review the definition of derelict land, and the method by which it is recorded for official statistics, in view of frequent authoritative representations of underestimation of this information.

Mr. Graham Page

Proposals for assembling at regular intervals factual information on a wider basis than at present are under discussion with the local authority associations.

Miss Fookes

I thank my hon. Friend for that Answer. Will he be as quick as possible and complete this within, say, six months?

Mr. Page

I think we shall be ready a lot earlier than that, though I would not like to give a specific time.

Mr. Cant

Would the hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend whether, in considering this question of derelict land, an artificial distinction is made between man-made dereliction and natural dereliction? Will he extend the 75 per cent. grant to both areas, particularly in the case of older industrial areas like the City of Stoke-on-Trent?

Mr. Page

For the record, it is 85 per cent. for development areas. I would rather see this go on expanding, as it is now, than try to extend it to other land until we see really good progress on the removal of these heaps.