§ 40. Mr. GLEDHILL
asked the Minister of Health the figures of maternal mortality for the last three complete years in Halifax, Huddersfield, and Bradford, and the average maternal mortality rate in each of these boroughs for the past 10 years?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Mr. Shakespeare)
As the answer involves a tabular statement, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate the statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Following is the statement:
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
My right hon. Friend's decision in this case was given upon an application made to him under Section 10 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1932, after consideration of the report of one of his inspectors who held a local inquiry into the matter. It is understood that the Dorking Urban District Council themselves propose to zone this area for residential purposes at a density of two houses to the acre. 1145 If account is taken, as it should be, of a part of the site which the owner is prepared to reserve as an open space, the development will be in conformity with these proposals of the council. The opposition to the application was based mainly on the view that buildings of the type proposed would be likely to mar the view from Box Hill and otherwise detract from the beauty of the locality. As regards this, my right hon. Friend has made it a term of his decision that the trees on the estate, other than those whose removal is necessary for the erection of the buildings, shall be preserved. It is clear that buildings of one storey screened by trees are less conspicuous than large buildings of two or more storeys, and in view of this and of the other considerations to which I have referred, my right hon. Friend did not feel justified in refusing the application.
§ Sir P. HURD
May I ask whether the Ministry is not concerned with the opinion held on the subject by the Surrey County Council, which is the town planning authority for the area, and also by the National Trust?
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this is a much larger question than one of the amenities of the district; that Box Hill is one of the beauty spots of London obtained at much expenditure of money and also by the generosity of local landowners; and that the tops of these bungalows will be visible from the hill and will be a grave spoiling of the landscape?
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
I can assure my hon. Friends that all these matters were very carefully inquired into when the inspector held the local inquiry, and the opinions of the various bodies were taken into consideration then. In all these matters of town planning, it is a question of arriving at a compromise between controlled development and the preservation of amenities, and I think the best solution in this case has been found.
§ Sir W. SMITHERS
On the wider question, what principle guides the Ministry and why do they support local authorities in some cases and turn them down in others?