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Storm Damage

Volume 124: debated on Monday 7 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to how many trees were destroyed in (a) Essex and (b) the Basildon area as a result of the storms in October; and how the figures were calculated.

Sales of dwellings by London Boroughs
1All sales April 1979 to June 1987Right to buy applications: October 1980 to June 1987
Numberof whichTotalof which, in quarters ending:
RTB per cent.Vacant per cent.NumberSeptemberDecemberMarchJune
City of London1,0916583,0355286229190
Barking and Dagenham6,245100011,143ֵֵֵֵ
Hammersmith and Fulham2,02959254,02523115833535

Essex county council estimates that 72,000 isolated trees were destroyed by the hurricane force winds, and a further 750,000 badly damaged. They have not provided separate estimates for the Basildon area. The Department has commissioned an aerial photographic survey in the affected area by Hunting Technical Surveys Ltd. The sample areas being photographed include 20 in Essex and one in the Basildon area. However the survey is being delayed by adverse weather conditions.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from environmentalist groups in the Essex region in connection with the damage caused by the storm of October; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has received no such representations. However, I understand that the Essex Naturalist Trust and a number of national conservation bodies have been in touch with Task force Trees a unit of the Countryside Commission, about funding for various projects in the Essex region relating to storm damage to the landscape. The Task force expects to announce its decisions on these applications very shortly.