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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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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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