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Column 585

Deputy Chairman :

John Ward

Members :

John Barnsley

Eric Bramfitt

Jane Darbyshire

Tony Flynn

Ian Gibson, CBE

Ian Gordon, OBE

Professor Patsy Healey

Dr. Ralph Iley, CBE

Joe L. Mills

Chris Sharp, CBE

Frank Sharratt

Dearne Valley City Grant Project

Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) when he expects that all toxic materials lying within the Dearne valley city grant area will have been removed or property contained ;

(2) what is the total area of land reclaimed as part of the city grant project in the Dearne valley ; and what area of derelict land remains to be reclaimed ;

(3) what has been the total payment from central funds in support of the city grant project for the Dearne valley to date ; and what is his estimate for the total spending in the current year and in 1994-95.

Mr. Baldry [holding answer 17 January 1994] : The three current city grant projects in the Dearne valley involve the reclamation of about 220 acres of derelict land. One site has now been fully reclaimed, and the reclamation of a second site is expected to be completed in about three months time. The remaining site accounts for around 80 per cent. of the total area covered by these projects and its reclamation is expected to be completed by the end of

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1994. On completion of the projects, the toxic materials will either have been removed from the sites or contained in an appropriate manner.

Grant payments by my Department in support of the projects have to date totalled £6.9 million. In 1993-94 payments are expected to total about £2.4 million, with around a further £1.1 million to be paid in 1994-95.

Housing (Flood Risks)

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the effects of the construction of housing on river flood plains exacerbation of recent floods in the south and east of England.

Mr. Jack : I have been asked to reply.

In December 1992, the Ministry together with the Department of the Environment and the Welsh Office, issued updated guidance to local planning authorities on the need to take account of flood risk due to increased run- off from new developments and the need for measures to be taken to alleviate this as a condition of granting planning permission. The National Rivers Authority provides advice to local planning authorities on application for developments in flood risk areas.

The Ministry has an ongoing programme of research into the flood response of rivers to rainfall and the development of design procedures which can take into account changes within river catchments such as urbanisation. Changes in flood run-off can be assessed in a number of ways, including by reference to 1975 flood studies report by the Institute of Hydrology, which has been substantially updated through Ministry-funded research. It is for the National Rivers Authority and the other responsible flood defence bodies to assess the causes of flooding on individual rivers using these techniques.


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