HC Deb 30 January 1986 vol 90 cc607-8W
Mr. Hickmet

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what resources are being made available for derelict land reclamation in 1986–87; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten

The funds provided for derelict land reclamation in 1986–87 are £78.38 million compared with £76.36 million at the beginning of 1985–86 and only £23.5 million in 1979–80. These figures include resources for reclamation on Merseyside.

In December 1985 my Department issued a circular restating the priorities for reclamation and making a number of significant changes. This was widely welcomed. It set out the Government's agreement to consider three year rolling programmes in areas of extensive dereliction. These would enable local authorities to tackle dereliction on an area basis more effectively than could be achieved on a scheme by scheme basis under an annual bidding system. £24 million will be made available in 1986–87 to enable 13 rolling programmes to be supported in Cleveland, South Tyneside, Workington ironworks, Preston docks, Salford quays, Hyndburn-Rossendale, Wigan, Liverpool, Ellesmere Port, Wirral, Normanby park steelworks, Lower Don valley Sheffield and the black country.

Local authorities will be required to identify the after use for all reclamation proposals and the terms on which they will dispose of the reclaimed land. Priority will be given to schemes designed to reclaim urban, especially inner city land for a hard private sector end use, particularly housing. The scheme to be supported in 1986–87 fully reflect these priorities. Some £17 million will be made available to support the continuing reclamation of the former Consett and Corby steelworks, the reclamation of coal tips following the report, "Coal and the Environment" (1981) investigation and remedial work on limestone subsidence in the black country, reclaiming the sites for the Stoke and Gateshead garden festivals and good quality groundwork schemes to tackle dereliction on the urban fringes.

Money is also available for the private sector and nationlised industries to undertake reclamation on their own behalf without the involvement of the local authority. I am allocating about £5.5 million for such schemes next year of which about £2.6 million will be accounted for by projects which have already been approved.

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