asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of the difficulty experienced by urban areas, such as Stoke-on-Trent, in assembling industrial sites under land reclamation schemes, where extensive coal mining operations have made the ground unstable, he will make additional finance available under inner city programmes.
Grants are available for the acquisition and reclamation of derelict land and there are resources under the community land scheme for the assembly of sites for industrial and commercial development. In addition, compensation may be payable under the Coal Mining (Subsidence) Act 1957 for damage caused by coal mining subsidence. Such claims are dealt with by the National Coal Board. There is close liaison between the Board and local authorities on preventive works to guard against or reduce the extent of damage to existing property or planned development. I am not aware of the need for any additional provision of funds and I do not think the use of the urban programme would be appropriate.