HC Deb 20 July 1944 vol 402 cc342-3
42. Mr. Storey

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether he has considered the appeal lodged by the Bishop of Durham, the Dean and Chapter, the University of Durham and the Durham Preservation Society for a public inquiry into the proposal to construct an electrical power station in the vicinity of Durham Cathedral and Castle; and whether he can give an assurance that such an inquiry will be held.

The Minister of Town and Country Planning (Mr. W. S. Morrison)

Last April, in pursuance of my statutory powers, I directed the Durham rural district council as interim development authority to refer to me for decision any application which the North Eastern Electric Supply Company Ltd. might make for consent to the erection of buildings or the use of land in their area for the purposes of an electricity generating station. The company has now made such an application and it has been referred to me for decision accordingly. I will consider the representations to which my hon. Friend refers and all other relevant matters before I give my decision, and I will not grant the application without holding a local inquiry.

Mr. Storey

While thanking the Minister for his reply, which will bring relief not only to the people of Durham, but to the people of the country as a whole, may I be assured that he will take every possible step to safeguard Durham from the fate of York, where the Minster has to share with a gasometer, pride of place in the plain of York?

Mr. Ritson

Is the Minister aware that the public authorities are strongly supporting the company in this, but they do not object to a public inquiry? As the Member for the division, may I be allowed to put that question?

Mr. Morrison

I am aware of the fact that there are two sides to this question, as there are to most other questions.