Mr. Jim Callaghan
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many acres of derelict land have been reclaimed in each year since 1979.148W
§ Mr. Macfarlane
The information for England is available up to 1 April 1982, the date of the latest survey of derelict land. The figures are:
Acres 1979–80 4,394 1980–81 5,217 1981–82 6,503
Reclamation in Scotland and Wales is the responsibility of the respective Secretaries of State.
§ Mr. Kenneth Carlisle
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will (a) publish the 1982 survey of derelict land in England and (b) announce the allocation of funds for derelict land reclamation in 1984–85; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
The "Survey of Derelict Land in England" 1982 has been published today. I have placed a copy in the library.
The survey shows that between 1 April 1974 and 31 March 1982 in England 17,000 hectares of derelict land were restored to beneficial use, the majority of it with the aid of central government derelict land grants. This represents the equivalent of 50 per cent. of the derelict land identified in 1974 as worth reclamation, an overall reclamation rate of over 2,000 hectares a year.
Nearly 45,700 hectares are now recorded as derelict; of which 34,300 hectares are considered to justify reclamation. The northern region has shown a significant decrease in derelict land, reflecting the progress made in coal tip reclamation, but there have been increases in most other regions, mainly through the pattern of industrial change in the north-west, the west midlands and docklands.
For the first time the survey includes information about the distribution of derelict land between urban and rural locations and its ownership. Forty-six per cent. is in urban areas but 92 per cent. of this land is considered to justify reclamation compared with only 62 per cent. of rural land. Sixteen per cent. of derelict land is owned by local authorities, 25 per cent. by other public bodies and the remainder is in private ownership.
The expenditure provided for derelict land reclamation in 1984–85 is £74 million compared with £12 million in 1974–75.
Within the derelict land provision itself £15 million has been approved for 41 new priority category A projects which are designed to secure immediate development by the private sector of land reclaimed by local authorities. The private sector investment is expected to amount to over £83 million, a gearing ratio of over 1 in 6. Together with just over £9 million carried forward from this year the provision in category A totals £24 million.
Nearly £39 million has been approved for category B schemes, that is those aimed at more general economic and environmental improvement, including just over £20 million for new starts. Prominent among these are a further £3 million for groundwork operations — a scheme to tackle the particular problems of derelict land zones in the urban fringe around towns in the north-west-£3 million for the reclamation of coal tips in the second year following the CENE report and £2 million for work on the derelict limestone caverns in the black country. The allocations also include provision for new and on-going works at the Corby (£3.5 million) and Consett (£1.5 149W million) steelworks, the Workington ironworks (£2.5 million) and the Stoke garden festival site (£3 million). There is a further special allocation of £6 million for reclamation on Merseyside.
A sum of £5 million has been allocated to the private sector and nationalised industries, an increase from £1.75 million in the current year. This recognises the valuable part that sector can play in reducing dereliction especially in towns and cities. The aim is to encourage private and nationalised industry landowners to become more involved in local reclamation programmes. Local authorities will be encouraged to approach these owners to interest them in reclaiming key derelict sites with the object of then developing them in line with local authorities' own initiatives in their area. Where possible priority will be given to such schemes.