HC Deb 03 May 1949 vol 464 cc797-8
1. Mr. Sparks

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning what new towns have so far been designated; what population each will contain; from which built up areas population will be attracted; and what stage of development has been reached in each case.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Town and Country Planning (Mr. King)

As the reply is somewhat long, and includes a list of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Sparks

Is my hon. Friend aware, in view of the fact that the local authorities in Greater London, including the London County Council, are not now able to develop housing schemes outside their boundaries, how urgent and important it is that new towns in the Greater London area should be expedited as quickly as possible; and would he give an assurance that this has been borne in mind?

Mr. King

We are certainly hurrying these matters as much as possible. The circumstances mentioned by my hon. Friend largely account for the conception of the new towns.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

In connection with any sites for new towns in the future, will my hon. Friend try to arrange for a little more imagination to be shown in the selection of those sites, and also see that due regard is paid to the fact that agricultural land should be avoided as far as possible in any choice which is made?

Mr. King

In co-operation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, we always have regard to agricultural interests, and endeavour to secure agreement on this matter.

Following is the reply:

Following is a list of the new towns which have so far been designated, together with their proposed population:

  1. (1) Aycliffe (10,000).
  2. (2) Basildon (50,000).
  3. (3) Crawley (50,000).
  4. (4) Harlow (60,000).
  5. (5) Hatfield (25,000).
  6. (6) Hemel Hempstead (60,000).
  7. (7) Peterlee (30,000).
  8. (8) Stevenage (60,000).
  9. (9) Welwyn Garden City (36,500).

The seven new towns in the south are designed to attract population from the congested areas of Greater London. Detailed arrangements for associating particular new towns with particular congested areas are at present under consideration. Aycliffe will mainly provide for people working in the neighbouring trading estate, and Peterlee for the mine workers in the neighbourhood together with such other workpeople as will be desirable to produce a balanced community.

As regards the last part of the Question, it will be appreciated that the early work of creating a new town is essentially that of surveying the ground, preparing plans and initiating basic services. Actual building has, however, been begun by most of the older established Corporations.