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Departmental Location

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 28 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons his Department decided not to complete a sustainability appraisal prior to relocating offices in 2007-08. (310826)

The office move in 2007-08 saw DEFRA staff situated in 1a Page Street relocated to our principal offices at Nobel House and Ergon House. This move was facilitated by restructuring of the DEFRA business, including a reduction in staff numbers, and provided an opportunity to reduce property costs.

The Department did not complete a sustainability appraisal because it was satisfied that the reduction in the estate DEFRA occupied, together with better use of the space in the remaining offices would contribute positively over time to DEFRA's overall environmental performance.

DEFRA has now explicitly incorporated the sustainability appraisal into our criteria for location decisions, which also include business and financial considerations.