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Reports Of The Death Of Dr Beeching Have Been Exaggerated

Headlines about the new national strategic vision for rail concentrated on an alleged Government plan to reverse Beeching, which must have been a relief to ministers given that the document looks like making our dysfunctional franchising system even worse and more expensive to the taxpayer. Reversin...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 07 December 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For

There has been much understandable relief that chancellor Philip Hammond ignored calls from flaky think-tanks for wholesale releases of land in green belts for housing. But his Budget was very far from good news in many other ways. There were a few good things in it on the brownfield housing front a...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 24 November 2017

Predict And Arrive

I was recently challenged to produce a plan for building five million homes in over the next 50 years. My initial reaction was to react like the apocryphal bloke in deepest rural Ireland who, asked by a passing motorist the way to Limerick, replied that if he were going to Limerick, he wouldn-apos-t...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 20 November 2017

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Government snubs call for contaminated land funding

Added on 17 September 2016

The Government has rejected a Commons Environmental Audit Committee recommendation to go on paying for local authority land contamination work in England.

The report published by the Committee in June complained at the ending of funding for council investigation and remediation of contaminated sites under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

It recommended DEFRA undertake detailed assessment of its run-down of the grants, following evidence given by Smart Growth UK.

But DEFRA brushed aside the concerns of the MPs and said it had simplified the Part 2A regime and commissioned research and said its research on health effects had not reached any conclusions.

It said it had never promised year-on-year funding and the grants had been for legacy issues, but it claimed the Government is not in any way complacent about contaminated land.

DEFRA also rejected a call for annual reporting on contaminated land.

The Department also recommended a string of other recommendations by the MPs on soil health, including soil carbon, actions which damage peatlands, cross-compliance, banning subsidies for maize for anaerobic digestion and monitoring soil trends.

DEFRA said the environment is a precious natural asset and soils play a vital role.

It said leaving the EU provides an opportunity to consider a long-term vision for the environment.

DEFRA response

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