HC Deb 17 February 1948 vol 447 cc979-80
34. Mr. Driberg

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning if he has yet considered the City of Westminster Plan, and in particular that part envisaging the demolition of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and its rebuilding in Kensington or Belgravia; and if he will give an assurance that he will not sanction a plan which does not preserve the existing building on its present site.

The Minister of Town and Country Planning (Mr. Silkin)

No, Sir. The City of Westminster Plan has not been submitted to me for approval, although a copy has been sent to me for information. The plan has, I understand, been prepared for the City Council to assist them in framing their comments on the County of London Plan. It will be for the London County Council, as the responsible planning authority, to submit to me in due course a plan for the area. In these circumstances, the second part of the Question does not arise.

Mr. Driberg

While fully realising that this plan is not yet official or approved by any body, will my right hon. Friend be forewarned against any suggestion to demolish this magnificent opera house?

Mr. Silkin

I was, of course, forewarned by this Question, but no such suggestion has in fact been made.

Mr. Keeling

Will the Minister make clear that this so-called City of Westminster Plan, containing even more startling proposals, has not even been considered by the Westminster City Council?

Mr. Silkin

I am much obliged for the information.