Sustainable Communities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 5th February 2003.

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Photo of John Prescott John Prescott Deputy Prime Minister, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Local Government and the Regions, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 12:31 pm, 5th February 2003

As on so many occasions, my hon. Friend points out the weaknesses and difficulties that are involved in the transfer that has been taking place in terms of the economic and industrial development of the Thurrock area. Traditionally, transport links have not necessarily developed in that direction or have suffered from underinvestment. We are discussing that with the Secretary of State for Transport, and some relevant proposals are already in his plan. Some areas of London will not be opened up to housing development unless there are connections to rail links. As usual, we have to set priorities, because demands are far greater than resources. As my hon. Friend knows, we have established an urban development corporation that will work in those areas with the authorities to achieve the measures that I have announced. As he says, there are a great many brownfield sites in his area. [Interruption.] My right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and the Regions says that there are more in Greenwich. I will not dispute that both areas have many brownfield sites, and I very much welcome that because it will help us to keep on building.