§ 28. Mr. HANNAH
asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered the copy sent to him of the recent protest by the Society for the Preservation of Rural England against the unnecessary destruction of old buildings; and whether he will call the attention of all local authorities to the need for reconditioning, instead of destroying, ancient cottages of aesthetic value whenever it is possible to make them sanitary and convenient dwellings?
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Sir Kingsley Wood)
I assume my hon. Friend is referring to the November report of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England, in which reference is made to the importance both to local authorities and to cottage owners of securing adequate technical advice before deciding whether an unfit cottage, which is of architectural, historic or artistic merit, cannot be made fit for habitation. I have frequently called the attention of local authorities to the need for taking all practicable steps to secure the reconditioning of cottages which can be made fit for habitation, and I have recently issued a circular emphasising the importance of giving further publicity to the grants under the Housing (Rural Workers) Acts available for reconditioning agricultural cottages.
As the answer contains a number of figures, I will, with the hon. Members's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Following is the answer: