HC Deb 17 February 1948 vol 447 cc980-1
35. Mr. Keeling

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether he is aware that while discussions were going on between the Surrey County Council and other interested parties about the future of The Grotto, Oatlands Park, Weybridge, a building of architectural and historic interest, the Walton and Weybridge Urban District Council licensed its demolition; and whether he will accelerate the issue of lists of such buildings under Section 42 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1944, in order to prevent further ignorant demolitions.

Mr. Silkin

The licence to demolish the building referred to was issued not by the urban district council, but by the Ministry of Works in view of representations by the surveyor to the district council that the building was dangerous. I understand that the Surrey County Council learned about the proposed demolition too late for any representations to be made. Every effort is being made to expedite the issue of lists.

Mr. Keeling

Should not the Minister of Works have consulted the planning authority before doing anything about it?

Mr. Silkin

It was the planning authority which informed the Ministry of Works of the dangerous condition of this building.

Mr. Sidney Marshall

Is the Minister aware that, in spite of the fact that the urban district council had given an undertaking to consult with the county council before any action was taken, no consultation in fact has taken place?

Mr. Silkin

Yes, Sir. I have learned of that, and I am very sorry about it.