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Area of derelict land under Labour the size of 30,000 football pitches - Baker

January 25, 2005 12:00 AM

New figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats reveal that an area the size of nearly 30,000 football pitches is lying derelict across England.

While new developments eat away at our diminishing green spaces huge areas of the country are currently derelict and crying out for redevelopment.

Regionally the North West has the highest percentage of derelict land going to waste with over 0.6% of the entire region currently disused and available for redevelopment. This is nearly three times the rate for any other region.

The total hectares of derelict land for each region is:

1. North West 5,700 hectares or 8,143 football pitches

2. Yorkshire and Humber 3,160 hectares or 4,514 football pitches

3. East of England 2,420 hectares or 3,257 football pitches

4. South West 2,250 hectares or 3,214 football pitches

5. East Midlands 1,950 hectares or 2,786 football pitches

6. West Midlands 1,730 hectares or 2,471 football pitches

7. North East 1,520 hectares or 2,171 football pitches

8. South East 1,440 hectares or 2,057 football pitches

9. London 370 hectares or 529 football pitches.

Commenting on the figures, Norman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary said:

"Only this topsy-turvy Government could ram through house building on scarce Greenfield sites while ignoring the derelict land which is not only prime for development but would be improved by it.

"The amount of derelict land is actually growing under labour with two regions experiencing an almost 40% increase from last year.

"This shows yet again the catastrophic failure of the Government's environmental policy."