A Five Billion Pound National Disgrace

Having watched the progressive degradation of Government policy on planning and transport in England over the past 15 years, I thought I was beyond being shocked. But a quick analysis of the Government announcement on its five billion quid Housing Infrastructure Fund left me speechless. Well, almost...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 04 February 2018

Transformational Dreams

Thanks to a quirky coincidence, I was in a small town in the north of England when Transport for the North launched its Strategic Transport Plan, setting out its aspirations for what it grandly called transformational growth over the next third of a century. Well, quite a lot of the north is in need...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 21 January 2018

An Egregious Future

Few elephants live in this country and most of those that do live in zoos. So conservation of them is unlikely to figure in any 25-year environment strategy, which is a pity, as the Plan published by the Government yesterday must have had two very large pachyderms roaming silently around the launch ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 January 2018

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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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