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vital statistics

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About 55 per cent of new homes are built on previously developed land, says the Department of Environment, Transport and Regions. The government's target is to achieve 60 per cent by 2008.

The proportion of homes in England judged unfit to live in went down from 8.8 per cent in 1986 to 7.2 per cent (1.5 million homes) in 1996, says the detr.

Seventy-two beach chalets face demolition to make way for caravan space at east Mersea, Essex. The 3.6m by 6m wooden huts were designed as golf huts and are all that remain of the 200 which were built in the 1930s. They must be movedor demolished.

Seventeen per cent of chartered surveyors expect workloads to fall over the next 12 months, says an rics uk Economic Brief. This compares to 7 per cent expecting workload to rise compared to 1998. Economic slowdown is hitting industrial demand hard.

Thirty million people visit museums and galleries in London each year.

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