HC Deb 05 March 1946 vol 420 cc167-70
42. Mr. McGovern

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the result of his consideration of the application from the Hamilton Town Council for a compulsory order to purchase 116 acres of land at Neilsland Road and Hill-house Road for the erection of 1,200 houses as a result of the failure of the district valuer in his negotiations with the owners of the land; and if he will state the value on which this land was assessed for local rating purposes.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Buchanan)

An order for the compulsory purchase of land at Laighstonehall and Hillhouse was confirmed, with modifications, on 27th December, 1945, and is now operative. The land extends to 210 acres. As it consists of various parcels forming in most cases parts of farms I regret that I am unable to state the rateable value.

Mr. Stokes

Can my hon. Friend state the total purchase price involved in this matter?

Mr. Buchanan

I could not do so without notice. I made every effort to get the answer here, but the town clerk is unable to give us it because farming occupies a large portion of the land.

Mr. McGovern

Will the hon. Gentleman state why this cannot be done, since these people are bound to pay certain rateable values for the land?

Mr. Buchanan

I am informed that because of this farming interest, that is not so easy. I am in difficulty as to what the hon. Member wants. He mentions 116 acres and our information is 210 acres. If it is possible, I will get him the information.

44. Mr. McGovern

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that the Hawick Town Council, requiring land for housing, has been asked to pay a price equivalent to £625 per acre for ground at Sillerbithall owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland; that negotiations have failed, and that the district valuer has advised that the only course was to proceed by statutory notice; what steps are being taken to secure entry under statutory powers; and what is the area and the present rateable value of the land in question.

Mr. Buchanan

The town council were given statutory powers to enter upon the land referred to on 11th May, 1945. The site, which comprises about 25½ acres, is part of an estate of about 38 acres, the rateable value of which is £107. The district valuer expects to bring negotiations for purchase to a satisfactory conclusion at an early date.

Mr. Stokes

May I ask my hon. Friend whether that is not a most extravagant purchase? Having regard to the rateable value he has stated, the purchase price is frightfully exorbitant.

Mr. Buchanan

We have not entered into any purchase price yet. The matter is being negotiated with the district valuer. We hope to have another price fixed, but until that is fixed, we cannot venture any opinions.

Mr. McGovern

Has the hon. Gentleman any suspicions that these lands have been sold because of the fact that the Government are likely to take them over, and is he satisfied that they have been genuine sales?

Mr. Buchanan

We are going through the normal procedure and the local authority is invoking the law. The district valuer is going into the matter, and it is his price which will eventually be paid.

74. Mr. McAllister

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if the town council of the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen was consulted before he reached a decision with regard to Glasgow's housing development at the Castlemilk estate and, if not, why not; and if he will state the area of the green belt forming part of that estate which will, having regard to his recent decision, now divide the city of Glasgow from the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen.

Mr. Westwood

The town council of Rutherglen were not consulted about the development of the land at Castlemilk for housing purposes, as they do not object to its use for those purposes. The only point at issue is the extent to which open space should be provided, and I shall consider this matter when the lay-out plans of the Glasgow and Rutherglen schemes are submitted to me.

Mr. McAllister

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he does not think that it is a scandalous and irresponsible way of treating a matter of this kind that the ancient and Royal Burgh of Rutherglen should have its green belt invaded and tampered with without any prior consultation? Is he not aware that the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen wrote to him in December last year regarding this matter, and was instructed to get in touch with the Clyde Valley Regional Planning Committee, that they did so —[Hon. Members: "Speech"] It is not a speech; it is a question. Is he not aware that the Clyde Valley Regional Planning Committee and the Glasgow Housing Committee reached an agreement, which was upset by the Secretary of State?

Mr. Speaker

What the hon. Member has said was more in the form of a speech than a question.

Mr. Westwood

May I suggest. Mr. Speaker, that I can reply short and snappy? Nothing that I do as Secretary of State for Scotland is either scandalous or irresponsible

Mr. McKinlay

Will the right hon. Gentleman request the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen to return to Glasgow that portion of Castlemilk which he had taken from it?

75. Mr. McAllister

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has expressed an official view as to the maximum density which should be permitted in re-housing in towns and in the country.

Mr. Westwood

No, Sir. The Department of Health for Scotland is investigating this highly technical subject, but their inquiries are not yet complete.

76. Mr. McAllister

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state the number, names and descriptions of the housing estates agreed with Glasgow Corporation against the recommendations of the Clyde Valley Regional Planning Advisory Committee; and if he will consult with the President of the Board of Trade to find out how many industrial firms were persuaded to desist from invading the green belt on or near these points.

Mr. Westwood

I am circulating in the Official Report the details asked for in the first part of the Question.

No industrial firms have submitted proposals to the Board of Trade for the development of land in the area tentatively zoned by the Clyde Valley Committee as a green belt and in the selection of sites for industrial estates the green belt area has been avoided.

Following are particulars of the sites approved by the Secretary of State for housing development within the area proposed by the Clyde Valley Committee as a green belt.

Name or Description of Site Acreage.
(1) Site north of Royston Road 60.42
(2) Site south of Hogganfield Loch 42.24
(3) Site south of Gartloch Road 25.86
(4) Site north of Hallhill Road 54.50
(5) Site south of Monkland Canal 233.53
(6) Site at Thornliebank Road North 53.50
(7) Site at Arden 99.00
(8) Site at Carthamloch and Cardowan 115.75