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The Outer M25

I suppose one should be grateful for the candour of the National Infrastructure Commission when it admitted the purpose of its proposed Oxford-Cambridge Expressway is to facilitate car-dependent urban sprawl. In its proposal for the gherkin-shaped sprawl corridor last November, it said decisions on ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 21 May 2018

A Matter Of Principle

About a hundred years overdue, we could finally be seeing a serious national debate over whether garden cities are a good thing. This is an issue the planning profession has treated with kid gloves ever since its inception, thanks to the role garden city enthusiasts played in its foundation and the ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 05 May 2018

Election Fever

You may not have noticed it, but this is local election time in large parts of England. Election fever, however, has been hard to spot. I visited my own local authority website a couple of days ago to find out who the candidates are in my ward. The council had not even bothered to upload them. It to...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 01 May 2018

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Des Collins warns on Redcar

Added on 26 September 2016

Solicitor Des Collins, who represented families who had had children with birth defects at Corby, has warned the lessons learned should be applied to any remediation of the disused steel works at Redcar.

Mr Collins, speaking to a BBC programme on the first anniversary of the SSI works closure, represented families who won damages after a court ruled in 2009 that dust from remediation of the Corby site was capable of having caused the defects.

Many commentators have since claimed the court ruled the dust had definitely caused the defects, but it merely judged that it was capable of having done so, a crucial difference.

Mr Collins now says the lessons learned at Corby need to be applied at Redcar, though there is currently no plan to clean up the 570ha site.

"What they didn&primet appreciate was that if the material was in the back of a lorry then it could disperse into the air," he told the programme.

No progress is possible on the site as three Thai banks have a claim on it over a 350 million pound loan to SSI.

The SSI Taskforce, chaired by Lord Heseltine, set up to help the area has published a progress report which shows how the 2,150 people who lost their jobs have been assisted.

"The closure of SSI was clearly an incredibly difficult time for Redcar and the wider Tees Valley, but today&primes report shows the real progress thats been made just one year later," he said.


"With a ground-breaking devolution deal and the new mayoral development corporation, the first ever of its kind outside of London, there is real cause for optimism for the region&primes economic future."

But there is currently no reclamation scheme in sight for the steelworks.

Taskforce

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