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14 July 2008 : Column 46W—continued

14 July 2008 : Column 47W

Property Development

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will put in place measures to inform local authorities to criminal convictions of development companies. [214452]

Mr. Dhanda: Communities and Local Government have no plans to put such measures in place.

Recreation Spaces: Thames Gateway

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of open green space in the Thames Gateway area is managed to Green Flag award standards; and if she make a statement. [216979]

Caroline Flint: A total of 554 green spaces received a Green Flag Award in July 2007 and 28 sites are in the Thames Gateway area. This year's winners will be announced on the 17 July. A list of Green Flag Award winning parks is available on the Green Flag website at and includes those in the Thames Gateway area.

Regional Planning and Development: Thames Gateway

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made towards the Thames Gateway Delivery Plan’s objectives for the capital development programme of the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation in respect of (a) the Innogy site acquisition, (b) the Carpet Right site in Rainham, (c) the upgrade of Prescot Lock, (d) the Barking town buy-backs and (e) the Wildspace Conservation Park visitor centre. [216978]

Caroline Flint: The London Thames Gateway Development Corporation’s Corporate Plan for 2008-09 to 2010-11 was published on 7 May 2008. The Corporate Plan sets out how they will investment some £237 million to take forward the strategic regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley and Barking-Havering Riverside areas.

Progress on the individual developments is as follows:

(a) Innogy site acquisition (spend to date £18.85 million)

This 26 acre site at Dagenham Dock was acquired by the corporation in May 2008 for around £18 million and will form part of the London Sustainable Industries Park, which is being developed jointly with the London Development Agency. The site has been acquired to provide premises for Environmental Technology Industries some of whom are being relocated to allow other projects in the London Thames Gateway to proceed as planned. The corporation are already in negotiation with a number of businesses and the first deals are expected to be agreed later this year.

The first occupier of the Sustainable Industries Park, Closed Loop Recycling, the UK’s first food grade plastics recycling facility, opened on 27 June. The plant will divert a significant amount of waste from landfill.

(b) Carpetr ight site in Rainham (spend to date £15.87 m illion )

The seven acre site at New Road, Rainham was acquired by the corporation in March 2007 subject to a leaseback to Carpetright plc until May 2008. The deal helped facilitate the development of a new state of the
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art distribution centre for Carpetright in Thurrock and has released seven acres of land adjacent for new housing and jobs adjacent to Rainham Village centre.

Agents have been appointed to seek a private sector partner to progress the project and the opportunity will be advertised later this month.

In the meantime a contract to progress the demolition of most of the buildings on the site has been let and terms have been agreed to let another of the buildings to Havering College to establish a Construction Skills Training Centre. This will be a temporary facility while the corporation works with Havering College to develop a new 80,000 square foot campus on an adjoining site. This is planned to open in 2011.

(c) Upgrade of Prescott Lock (spend to date £5 m illion )

The corporation has contributed £5 million towards the construction of water control structures in Prescott Channel and Three Mills Wall River. The project will achieve tidal exclusion and allow waterborne freight delivering construction materials to the Olympic Park. The project is located in a deprived area with the potential for future housing and other developments and will result in a number of environmental, social, leisure and health benefits through the creation of a useable waterway park, an increase in boat journeys, use of cycle paths and walkways. British Waterways is the delivery agent for the project and partners include the corporation, DFT and TfL.

The project started on site in March 2007 and the planned completion date is now February 2009. This is slightly behind schedule due to land contamination issues and the discovery of an unexploded bomb on 2 June 2008 but the project is now on track to provide significant benefits to the local community by removing heavy goods vehicles from the road network and creating an improved environment for existing and new waterside homes and businesses.

(d) Canning Town buy-backs (spend to date £8.8 million)—there is no buy back programme in Barking Town.

The investment by the corporation of £9.9 million for the Canning Town buy-backs has helped to achieve vacant possession of most of the site ear-marked for the first phase of the Canning Town centre re-development. Only three properties now remain outstanding and negotiations with the owners are ongoing.

Demolition work is progressing in parallel to clear the site. A panel of developers has now been appointed who will be invited to tender for the site in September 2008 with a start on site planned for summer 2010.

(e) Wildspace Conservation Park visitor centre (spend to date £1.9 million on related access and improvement projects)

Wildspace is being developed as a flagship green space for the Thames Gateway on 1,500 acres in Havering and Thurrock. The corporation are working in partnership with a number of organisations including the local authorities the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Veolia to deliver a number of projects across the park. Projects completed to date include the Purfleet Environment and Visitor Centre (part funded by Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation and managed by the RSPB); The Rainham to Purfleet path and cycleway; Discovery Zones; and improved bus access
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routes to Ferry Lane. The Wildspace Project Board meet on 8 July to agree a detailed programme of work for the next five years.

Safer and Stronger Communities Fund: Thames Gateway

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding under the Safer and Stronger Communities Fund has been drawn down in the Thames Gateway area in each year since 1 April 2005, broken down by local authority area; and if she will make a statement. [216959]

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Caroline Flint: The information is provided in the following table. This shows amounts received by local authorities in the Thames Gateway area from the following CLG funding streams which merged to form the Safer and Stronger Communities Fund from April 2005: neighbourhood management pathfinders, the liveability fund, neighbourhood wardens, single community programme, the neighbourhood element, and the cleaner safer greener element. As 2005-06 was a transitional period, the figures include amounts paid in that year for funding streams that merged into the SSCF from April 2006.

Local authority 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Barking and Dagenham
























Tower Hamlets












Castle Point




























Sustainable Development: Thames Gateway

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made on the establishment of an eco-quarter in the Thames Gateway area in 2008-09; and if she will make a statement. [216958]

Caroline Flint: The Thames Gateway Eco-Quarter concept was proposed in November 2007 in the Thames Gateway Delivery Plan, as an extension of the Eco-Towns programme. Further development of the Eco-Quarter concept is being considered in the context of the current ongoing work on Eco-town assessments, the forthcoming Planning Policy Statement and initial Eco-town selection.

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department has allocated to fund the Thames Gateway element of (a) the green homes project and (b) the Act on CO2 advice line for 2008-09. [217242]

Caroline Flint: Over the next three years the Department has allocated up to £1.5 million to fund energy advice services to be provided through the Energy Saving Trust in the Thames Gateway.

Transport: Thames Gateway

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will provide a breakdown of the expenditure to date in respect of local transport projects identified for funding under the auspices of the Community Infrastructure Fund in the Thames Gateway area by main budget area; and if she will make a statement. [216798]

Caroline Flint: The following table sets out the allocations to the Thames Gateway projects under the first round of the Community Infrastructure Fund.

Project Allocation (£ million)

Fastrack—Everard's Link


Fastrack—Thames Way


Fryerns/Craylands, Basildon


Langdon Park DLR Station


Greenwich Waterfront Transit/East London Transit/DLR Bank-Lewisham 3 Car Upgrade


Pontoon Dock Station Bridge


Tidal Basin Roundabout


Woolwich New Road


Expenditure on these projects was incurred in the financial years 2006-07 and 2007-08 except for two projects where flexibility has been formally agreed allowing the projects to spend the following amounts in 2008-09:

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These amounts are included in the total allocation figures for these projects shown in the table.

Working Neighbourhoods Fund: Thanet

Dr. Ladyman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department has allocated to Thanet from the Working Neighbourhood Fund; for what purposes it has been allocated; and how it will be spent. [218346]

John Healey: Thanet has been awarded £1,012,404 from the Working Neighbourhoods Fund (WNF) for 2008-09. The authority will receive further funding in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

The purpose of the WNF is to provide resources to local authorities that have some of the highest concentrations of worklessness and lowest levels of skills and enterprise. As WNF is paid as an element of Area Based Grant Thanet district council has the freedom and flexibility to use the funding in innovative ways to meet the objectives of the fund.

International Development

Africa: Infant Mortality

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department’s policies designed to reduce the rate of child mortality in Central and Western Asia in the last three years. [217017]

Mr. Malik: The Department for International Development (DFID) supports health programmes in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Kyrgyzstan which include initiatives to reduce child mortality. These focus on essential care of newborns, nutrition interventions including breast feeding promotion, immunisation, early community and hospital management of common childhood illnesses, and improved water and sanitation. Under-five mortality has fallen in all these countries in the past three to five years and DFID’s support aims to accelerate this rate of reduction.

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