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Greenfield Every Time

Green belts are much in the news at the moment as campaigners all over the country strive to protect them from the tsunami of unwanted and unnecessary low-density development being forced on them. But despite this gathering tide of public opinion, you still see Sprawl Lobby practitioners moaning tha...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 13 March 2017

The Fourteen Year Itch

There is quite an irony in the decision to call the housing white paper Fixing Our Broken Housing Market. It was with that very objective in mind that HM Treasury, no less than 14 years ago, began its assault on the planning system and the environment that has so damaged our land. The Treasury-apos-...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 24 February 2017

Petrolhead Paradise

Almost five years ago, the then deputy prime minister Nick Clegg offered a conference three alternative ways of meeting housing shortages. We could, he said, either condemn ourselves to damaging the countryside by haphazard urban sprawl, we could cram ever more people into cities, concreting over ga...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 16 February 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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