HC Deb 13 December 1945 vol 417 cc591-2
18. Mr. Gerald Williams

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that, under Regulation 56A, plans for the erection of houses have to be refused by local authorities if they provide for a maximum area of more than 1,000 superficial feet; and whether, in view of the fact that this restriction prevents the building of desirable types of houses in rural districts, he will take steps to amend the regulation at an early date.

Mr. Bevan

I am aware of the limitation to which the hon. Member refers and consider its retention necessary in order to ensure that the most urgent needs are met first.

Mr. Williams

Does the Minister agree that although these limitations may be necessary in urban areas, in rural areas where there is no pressure on space the amenities could be considerably improved without any additional cost?

Mr. Bevan

I have already arranged a limit very much above that of the previous Government. It is now from 900 to 950 superficial feet upwards to 1,000. The increase is substantial, and is much appreciated by the rural authorities.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

Will the Minister say what increase he has made in the limits for private houses; and secondly, whether the maximum of 1,000 superficial feet takes in outbuildings?

Mr. Bevan

No, it does not. As to the first part of the supplementary question, in fact the limitation is not upon the superficial area but upon the price. If hon. Members opposite will co-operate with me to bring down costs, a bigger house can be built for the same price.

Mr. Willink

Will the Minister reconsider that answer? Is it not a fact that there is a limitation not only on price but in regard to the size of houses built by private enterprise? Will he also answer the first part of the supplementary question as to whether he has raised the standard of houses to be built by private enterprise, as he alleged in his own answer?

Mr. Bevan

The limitation is on price. Within the limits of that price the private builder can build what he likes. There are certain standards which the private builder must obey, because we do not want the speculative builder building any kind of houses in Great Britain.

Back to
Forward to