HC Deb 03 February 1970 vol 795 cc199-200
16. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how many derelict sites were planted or reclaimed in the Bishop Auckland constituency during 1968 and 1969; and at what cost.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Arthur Skeffington)

A site was reclaimed with grant aid in 1968 and another in 1969, costing £4,023 and £8,441 respectively. Approvals allowing work to start have been given for three other sites at a total estimated cost of £20,000. Two further schemes have received outline approval.

Mr. Boyden

While that answer is satisfactory as far as it goes, may I press my hon. Friend to do everything possible in his Department to accelerate this process, especially in villages, where derelict land has a very bad effect on the general house improvement programme?

Mr. Skeffington

I assure my hon. Friend that we are anxious to help. He will be pleased to know that more money than ever before has been allocated for this purpose in nearly all the areas of the North-East, where the grant is 85 per cent. About 50 more acres have been cleared, without grant. My Department will be glad to help in any way it can.