HC Deb 22 March 1945 vol 409 cc985-6
52. Sir Wavell Wakefield

asked the Minister of Health if he will prohibit the Bath City Council from utilising for building the Old Down playing field, which the National Playing Fields Association and Carnegie Trustees assisted to lay out, and which is vitally required for recreation.

Mr. Willink

The council have submitted to me an application for approval to the appropriation of a portion of this open space on the giving in exchange of alternative land. I have arranged for a public inquiry to be held into the application at an early date.

53 and 54. Sir W. Wakefield

asked the Minister of Health, (1) if he will prevent land which has been acquired by gift or purchase and has been vested in a. local authority by a conveyance, under which the council covenants or is directed to maintain it in perpetuity, as a public open space or playing field, from being used for housing purposes;

(2) if, in view of the great expenditure which is necessary in constructing roads, sewers, laying on water, gas and electric light and other essential services, he will instruct local authorities not to use playing fields and recreation grounds for temporary housing purposes.

Mr. Willink

I have no authority to approve the appropriation by a local authority of part of a public open space for housing purposes except where an equally advantageous area of land, certified as such by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, is given in exchange. I should give careful consideration to any application for approval to such an exchange, having regard to all the circumstances. Appropriation of a public open space for housing purposes, without the giving in exchange of other land, requires the specific approval of Parliament.