Letter: Brownfield building

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The Independent Online
JOHN PRESCOTT'S call for an urban renaissance and greater use of brownfield sites is very encouraging ("Prescott says recycle", 24 February). But your suggestion that the Chancellor will veto a package of incentives that Mr Prescott wants to put forward is alarming.

The new policy will bite only if it is backed by better incentives and grants to build well and offset the extra costs of brownfield sites. The funding could come from measures such as Civic Trust's proposals for a greenfield levy, which Mr Prescott is apparently considering.

Yet under present plans that Mr Prescott inherited from the Conservatives, his department's core spending programme for regeneration is actually planned to fall. This is now a nonsense. The Chancellor needs to show in the Budget that the whole Government is backing Mr Prescott's vision with a package of green taxes and other measures. Mr Prescott has responded to the national call for an urban focus; we must now also will the means to deliver to a high standard.



Civic Trust