HC Deb 13 December 1999 vol 341 cc68-9W
Ms Atherton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will allow parish councils to apply for grants under the Land Reclamation Programme;[101956]

(2) what factors underlay the decision to restrict the granting of and application for grants under the Land Reclamation Programme to district and county councils. [101955]

Mr. Mullin

The Land Reclamation Programme (LRP) provides funding to local authorities to enable them to reclaim derelict land where there is no incentive for the private sector to undertake the task, typically because the land has no immediate prospect of development. LRP meets 100 per cent. of the approved eligible cost of approved projects because local authorities do not receive central government funding specifically for land reclamation. The widely accepted definition of local authority used for the purposes of LRP includes district, county and unitary authorities but excludes parish councils.

The vast majority of LRP projects have been promoted by local authorities within the context of an agreed land reclamation strategy for their area. They have therefore, on the whole, been large projects, which require intensive professional administration. It is unlikely that most parish councils would have the resources to manage such projects. However, a parish council can ask a borough, district or county council to champion a scheme on their behalf.

LRP is now administered by the Regional Development Agencies (RDA) and paid for from physical regeneration budgets.

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