Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum by Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ERF 17(c))

  The answers to the points you have raised are set out below.

  We have been advised by the Government Offices that of the seven requests from RDAs to develop greenfield sites in 2001-02, four were approved, two were refused and one is still being considered. The approved projects were in the following locations:

    —  Alpha Park, Thetford, Norfolk. An 18 hectare site that is sandwiched between existing industrial developments and the A11. A business park is being developed on the site. Brownfield sites in the area were not deemed to be of a sufficient size;

    —  a 120 hectare site adjacent to junction 36 of the M62 motorway, Goole, Yorkshire. No suitable alternative brownfield sites in the Goole area were available or of sufficient size to meet the demand for industrial land;

    —  Callow Community Centre, Chesterfield, Derbyshire. A half-acre site designated for community/recreation use. There are no brownfield sites of the required size in the area; and

    —  Falcon Court, Wirral International Business Park. A 2.17 hectare site which forms part of the business park. The site will be developed to provide 6,500 square metres of industrial floor space.

  We consulted the RDAs and EP in November 2001 on the need for a housing gap funding scheme. Three RDAs replied. SW RDA were strongly in favour of a housing scheme. NW RDA and Yorkshire Forward did not believe that a housing gap funding scheme was required. The Scottish GRO scheme was subsequently approved later that month, at which point we decided to prepare a draft notification in consultation with the RDAs and EP;

  Understand the concerns expressed by the CPRE. However, the purpose of the proposed housing scheme is to provide gap funding support for housing developments in areas characterised by market failure, ie where the cost of provision is likely to exceed forecast end values. Market failure is typically caused by contamination, dereliction and/or the need to remove old and derelict structures before developing the site. Our guidance to RDAs and EP will make this clear.

  The Commission does not publish notifications after making a decision. This is because their decision letter generally describes the approved scheme and sets out any conditions or restrictions which may apply.

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