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Volume 173: debated on Wednesday 6 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment has been made by his Department, or consultants to his Department, of the dangers posed from potential landslides; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has been actively commissioning research on landslides since the mid-1970s and is continuing so to do. A list of relevant projects is appended to this answer. Initially work was concentrated in the valleys of the south Wales coalfield, where landslides had been known to cause problems for many years.However, in 1984, it was recognised that the information on landsliding in Britain as a whole was deficient and a national review of research into landsliding in Great Britain which aimed to discover what work had been done on landslides in Britain, to assess its general applicability and to identify any gaps in knowledge and priorities for any further work needed was undertaken. This review was completed towards the end of 1987. The detailed results are available in the Department's library and a summary report will shortly be published.The results of this work have assisted in providing the basis for planning policy guidance (PPG 14) on development on unstable land which was issued by my Department and the Welsh Office on 30 April.

Research on landslides funded by the Department of the Environment

  • South Wales coalfield landslip survey Institute of Geological Sciences 1977–80
  • A study of two landslipped areas in the South Wales coalfield Institute of Geological Sciences 1981–83
  • East Pentwyn and Bournville landslips research project Sir William Halcrow and Partners 1983–85
  • Assessment of landslip potential South Wales Sir William Halcrow and Partners 1984–86
  • Stability and hydrogeology of deep mineral Workings The Geoffrey Walton Practice 1984–86
  • Review of research into landsliding in Great Britain Geomorphological Services Limited 1984–87
  • Landslides database and publications Geomorphological Services Limited 1988–90
  • Rhondda landslip potential assessment Sir William Halcrow and Partners 1988–90
  • Landslips and undermining Sir William Halcrow and Partners 1987–90
  • Coastal landslip potential assessment Isle of Wight Undercliff, Ventnor Geomorphological Services Limited 1988–90
  • Handbook on the design of tips and backfilled areas in quarries
  • The Geoffrey Walton Practice 1989–90.