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Government pushes for redevelopment of derelict sites

MORE THAN 16,700ha of derelict land in England and Wales has been abandoned for over 12 years and must be redeveloped to support regeneration, a senior government official said this week. In 72 local authorities in England and Wales, more than 2% of urban land was derelict, Government national brownfield strategy director Dr Paul Syms told a Civils 2005 seminar.

'Often, if this 2% lies in one ward, then it forms a significant blight on the area and affects development, ' said Syms.

The highest concentration of derelict sites is in the north west of England and Yorkshire.

'Very few of these authorities are in the south of England - 56 are located north of the Wash and Severn Estuary.' Of the derelict sites within London, 41% are constrained by physical issues, such as poor flood protection.

The National Brownfield Strategy has been developed jointly by English Partnerships and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

It aims to encourage widespread engagement to return brownfield land to beneficial use.

'This can be for hard or soft end uses - it doesn't always have to be developed into housing, ' said Syms.

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