Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [12th July],
That it be an instruction to the Committee to take into consideration the effect of the Bill on the architectural and artistic aspect and other amenities of the river front and, in the event of their approving the preamble of the Bill, to insert a clause in it requiring that the plans of any new building which it is proposed to erect shall first be submitted for approval to the Royal Fine Art Commission."—[Sir K. Vaughan-Morgan.]
§ Question again proposed.
§ 7.31 p.m.
§ Sir KENYON VAUGHAN-MORGAN
With the permission of the House I desire, on behalf of my hon. Friends and myself, to withdraw the Motion for this Instruction, in order that the House may proceed to consider, and, I trust, to accept, the Motion for an Instruction which appears lower down on the Order Paper in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for Tamworth (Sir A. Steel-Maitland) and others.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ 7.32 p.m.
§ Sir ARTHUR STEEL-MAITLAND
I beg to move, 1609That it be an Instruction to the Committee on the Adelphi Estate Bill [Lords] to take into consideration the effect of the Bill on the architectural and artistic aspect add other amenities of the river front, and to hear such evidence thereon as the Committee may think fit and, in the event of their approving the preamble of the Bill, to make provision requiring that drawings of the elevations of any new building to be erected on the Adelphi foreground shall be subject to approval by the Royal Fine Art Commission or the Crown Lands Advisory Committee, or such other body of persons as the Committee may consider suitable.I understand that the promoters of the Bill do not wish that this Motion should be opposed and that those who, on a previous occasion, spoke in favour of the Second Reading of the Bill are also willing to accept the Instruction. If it is unopposed, I believe that it is the wish of the House that the proceedings upon this matter should not occupy any considerable time as it is desired to resume in Committee the consideration of the great subject which has occupied us during the afternoon. The putting down of this Motion is not intended to imply that the Committee to whom this Bill will be entrusted would not take into account the points indicated in the Instruction or any of the other points which many of us think ought to be considered in relation to the Bill. We wish, however, to lay stress on those points which we think are of the greatest importance. They are moreover points on which there was a difference of opinion in the recent Debate. I merely mention them in order to emphasise them as considerations which we regard as being of peculiar importance. First: Is the Adelphi Terrace building of such artistic and architectural value that in the public interest it ought to be preserved? Second: What would be the effect on the amenities of the Thames-side at this point of the replacement of the Adelphi Terrace by a block of flats or offices 120 feet in height and 50 or 60 feet nearer the river front than the present buildings? Those are two questions which we conceive should be explicitly remitted for consideration in connection with the Bill. There is one other point to which I would allude. It is: Ought the view of the Adelphi Terrace and the view from the road that at present fronts it to be preserved for such passers-by as wish to see the river from that point and who are able to do so at present during the spring and early summer, and who would 1610 be able to do so at other times if certain unnecessary trees which now obscure the view were taken away? As this is, I am told, practically an agreed instruction I merely mention those points in moving it.
§ 7.35 p.m.
§ Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
I wish to support what has been said by my right hon. Friend in commending this Motion to the House. We consider it important that this matter should be thoroughly examined so that the value of the concession which the public is asked to make should be ascertained. I do not think that attention was drawn in the recent Debate to the fact that Parliament has twice intervened in connection with this matter. Its first intervention was to allow the embanking of the river. Then when the promoters of the scheme found that not very much profit was being made out of the erection of Adelphi Terrace, owing to their large expense, a further Act was passed in two years' time to enable a lottery to be held whereby the scheme was again indebted to the public. Those are points which ought to be thoroughly examined by the Committee. Most important of all is the question of the view which the public can now enjoy from the Adelphi Terrace. If the Committee as I hope might be the case finds that Adelphi Terrace ought to be retained so much the better. If they think that a case has been made out for pulling it down and erecting another building, we earnestly ask that a new roadway should be placed in the forefront of the building, either with arcading or otherwise, so that the facilities which the public now have of overlooking the gardens and the river shall be maintained.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
That it be an Instruction to the Committee on the Adelphi Estate Bill [Lords] to take into consideration the effect of the Bill on the architectural and artistic aspect and other amenities of the river front, and to hear such evidence thereon as the Committee may think fit and, in the event of their approving the preamble of the Bill, to make provision requiring that drawings of the elevations of any new building to be erected on the Adelphi foreground shall be subject to approval by the Royal Fine Art Commission or the Crown Lands Advisory Committee, or such other body of persons as the Committee may consider suitable.