HC Deb 25 January 1949 vol 460 cc736-8
39. Mr. Albu

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning what complaints he has received from the New Town Corporations of administrative difficulties arising out of the present procedure for the approval of schemes by the Departments concerned and by the local authorities.

Mr. Silkin

I have no reason to believe that New Towns Corporations are experiencing difficulties with Government Departments or local authorities which are either serious or irremediable.

Mr. Albu

Is not my right hon. Friend aware of the feeling of frustration on the part of the highly skilled staffs of these corporations at the treatment they are receiving, in so far as they are being treated no differently from the builders of quite a small number of houses?

Mr. Silkin

I am not aware of it and I am in very close touch with the various corporations. If the hon. Member has any information on this matter I should be very glad to have it.

40 and 41. Mr. Mott-Radcliffe

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning (1) what consultations took place between the regional planning officer and the land utilisation officer before the Draft Designation Order in respect of the new town at Bracknell was made;

(2) whether the Minister of Agriculture was consulted before the Draft Designation Order was made in respect of the new town at Bracknell, by which 2,500 acres of agricultural land and 36 agricultural holdings are affected.

Mr. Silkin

I did consult my right hon. Friend not only before the Draft Designation Order was published but before I reached any conclusion that Bracknell appeared suitable for expansion. These consultations included discussions between my Regional Controller and the Provincial Land Commissioner on the extent and relative value of all the farm holdings in the area which might be affected by a Draft Order. On a point of information, only about half the 2,600 acres provisionally designated is agricultural land.

Mr. Mott-Radclyffe

Could the right hon. Gentleman explain why, out of a number of alternative sites, the one selected was the one most intensively cultivated?

Mr. Silkin

Because it was thought to be the most suitable for the erection of a new town.

Mr. York

Are we to gather from that reply that the claims of the suitability of town making shall overweigh the advantages of the land for agricultural purposes?

Mr. Silkin

No, of course not. The hon. Member must understand that all factors are taken into account, including the claims of agriculture.