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Derelict Sites (Clearance)

Volume 656: debated on Wednesday 28 March 1962

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish in the Official Report the names of those local authorities which have applied for and have been granted financial assistance for the clearance of derelict sites under the terms of the Local Employment Act; and whether he will indicate the purposes for which the grants have been made in each case.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he is satisfied with the rate at which applications are coming forward? If he is not, can he tell us what is his opinion as to the reasons for this tardiness in the applications? Is it not the case that the Toot-hill Committee recommended that the grants be increased in order to get the local authorities to be more forthcoming in their applications? Can the right hon. Gentleman say, further, what stage has been reached in the consultations between himself and Fife local authorities about the clearance of sites?

That is really rather a handful for one supplementary question. The initiative does lie with the local authorities, who are fully informed of grant facilities. I should be glad to consider more applications. As to the question whether the level of grant is right, the standard rate of grant is 50 per cent., which we feel is a fair division between the Exchequer and the local authorities, bearing in mind that a cleared site is a permanent asset to the local community.

Following are the details:

Local Authorities to whom grant has been promised


West Lothian County Council1. Clearing of 8 acres abandoned colliery site at Armadale for school playing fields.
2. Remedial works on the Bog Burn, Bathgate, to improve amenity.
3. Removing a disused railway embankment at Fauld house to provide I acre of land for housing.
4. Removing small Bing at Fauldhouse for housing.
Coatbridge Town Council1. Consulting Engineers Report on scheme for piping and infilling Monkland Canal (grant promised on fees).
2. Clearance of 37 acres Bing and Old Iron Works site at Sikeside for industry and housing.
Fife County CouncilRehabilitation of 9½ acres ex A.A. gun site at Halbeath for industry.
Renfrew First District CouncilInfilling 28 acres of swampland at Muirend for recreation area.
Motherwell Town CouncilClearance of Parkhead Bing to provide 6½ acres of land for multi-storey housing and car park.