§ 48. Mr. CROWDER
asked the Minister of Health the number of open spaces which have been acquired by local authorities in pursuance of the campaign to establish a green belt around London; and whether there are any local authorities concerned which have not taken any action on the subject?
§ Sir K. WOOD
I regret that the information sought is not in my possession. During the last four years, local authorities in the Greater London Area have been authorized by my Department to acquire 6,556 acres of land for public open spaces or playing fields.
50. Mr. ASTOR
asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider what steps can be taken to preserve Ranelagh as an open space?
§ Sir K. WOOD
Ranclagh is in private ownership, and can only be kept. as an open space if the Owners choose to dedicate it as such, or if building is prohibited under the planning scheme now in course of preparation and compensation paid, or if it is acquired as a public open space. As far as I am aware, it is not suggested either that compensation should be paid from public funds to preserve the grounds for the use of the club, or that the whole of the grounds should be acquired for the use of the public. My hon. Friend will be aware that the owners at present intend to keep open the central 30 acres, and they have entered into an agreement with the Barnes Borough Council giving the latter an option to purchase these acres if at any time building is threatened.
Is it not the intention of the Minister to ensure that existing open spaces in London shall not be built over?