§ Mr. Kilroy-Silk
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many derelict land clearance schemes have been completed in West Lancashire in each of the last four years; how many acres have been reclaimed; how many are left; and if he is satisfied with progress.
§ Mr. Fox:
Although figures are not yet available for the financial years 1978–79 onwards, it is known that no schemes funded by derelict land grant have been completed in this period. In the previous two financial years, one scheme, one hectare in extent, was completed and that was undertaken without derelict land grant aid.
At the time of the 1974 survey of derelict and despoiled land in England, the West Lancashire district council area had 383 ha of derelict land. Only 2.8 ha are recorded as reclaimed but without another survey it is impossible to estimate the current extent of dereliction.
Representatives of this Department have recently discussed progress with council officials. Land reclamation is fraught with problems, mainly connected with the ownership of the land, and we are satisfied that the district and Lancashire county council, with which the district has an agency agreement for reclamation, are making increased efforts to produce results.