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Greenfield Sites Have High Environmental Value Too

Over the years Wildlife and Countryside Link has provided a great way of joining environmental voices together and also mediating in those cases where countryside and wildlife protection come into conflict. So it can only be a matter of great regret that it has, once again, decided to take sides in ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 18 September 2017

Fixing Our Brokered Housing Market

The grandly named new Government policy for Planning for the Right Homes in the Right Places raises far more questions than answers, but the big one ministers will be asking is whether it will head off hostility from the rank-and-file at the upcoming party conference. Certainly the new methodology h...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 16 September 2017

Forever, For Everyone

Defending the environment for everyone, forever, is a pretty big ambition but that, at its most basic, is what sustainability means. But challenges do not come any bigger than promising things to everyone, forever. That ambition is, of course, what drives the National Trust and has done for more tha...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 10 September 2017

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Chicago pays millions for land remediation

Added on 29 July 2016

In America, the City of Chicago and Cook County have decided to provide millions of dollars to pay for clean-up of contaminated land in seven districts of the city and its southern suburbs.

While the UK struggles with the idea of directly funding remediation from the public purse and toys with loan funds, the City and County have launched a new Industrial Growth Zones Initiative.

It will address two factors most frequently cited as obstacles to investment in industrial sites: land contamination and complex regulations.

““Industrial Growth Zones will reinforce and revitalize Chicago’s great commercial strength by removing barriers to site development for businesses and spurring job growth across communities for our residents,” said mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“This joint effort will improve how property owners, industrial developers and businesses invest in our city’s neighborhoods, and unlock the potential for further economic growth.”

Land owners within the zones will have access to a new site certification programme making site information available and will be eligible for grants up to $130,000 for investigation, remediation and marketing.

An “industrial concierge” will provide a single point of contact to guide them through the regulatory maze and there will be expedited permitting, licensing and inspections and assistance with workforce recruitment and training.

““Growth Zones are designed to attract investment into and development of specific industrial areas to spur regional economic growth and generate real, sustainable jobs,” siad Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle. “The Industrial Growth Zones Initiative moves Cook County and the Chicago region in a new strategic direction.”

The pilot scheme will run for three years.

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