HC Deb 28 March 1950 vol 473 cc162-5
13. Mr. Braine

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning the number of officials employed by each of the new town corporations; the salaries paid; and the total figure of administrative cost to date of each corporation.

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

The desired information is given in the Annual Reports of the Corporations, published as House of Commons papers Nos. 113 and 236 of 1949.

14. Mr. Braine

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning when the master plan of the Basildon new town will be made public; and whether such plan will show in detail the freehold properties which the Corporation propose to acquire.

Mr. Dalton

I cannot yet name a date, but I am asking the chairman to lose no time in preparing this plan. The answer to the last part of the Question is, "No, Sir."

Mr. Braine

Is the Minister aware that there is genuine anxiety in the designated area in regard to the intentions of the Corporation; that many freeholders fear the loss of their freeholds; and what assurance can the Minister give that if freehold property has to be acquired by the Corporation a fair market price will be paid?

Mr. Dalton

The plan, of course, shows the areas that are designated for housing, open spaces and so forth, but before any freehold properties are sought to be acquired by the Corporation, notice will be given and full opportunity for objections will be afforded. I will watch the matter carefully myself in the light of the undertaking that was given by my predecessor that as far as possible the early developments will take place on open land and not on land already occupied.

Mr. Derek Walker-Smith

Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake that during his administration in this office more regard will be paid to the rights of people living in the areas than has hitherto been the case?

Mr. Dalton

We will take all interests into due and fair consideration.

15. Mr. Braine

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning how many new houses are now ready for occupation in each of the new towns; and the rents being charged.

Mr. Dalton

As the reply contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Earl Winterton

Will the right hon. Gentleman say to whom Members of Parliament, in whose constituency new towns are to be constructed—as in the

Town Number of Houses Completed Weekly Rents (exclusive of rates)
2-Bedroom 3-Bedroom (various types) 4-Bedroom
Aycliffe 59 17s. 0d. 20s. 6d.
Crawley 36 15s. 0d. 23s. 3d. to 25s. 0d. 28s. 0d.
Harlow 31 21s. 6d. to 25s. 11d.
Hemel Hempstead 12 22s. 0d. 22s. 6d. to 27s. 0d. 30s. 0d
Stevenage 20 12s. 6d. to 25. 0d.

case with me—should apply when they wish to raise questions of housing grievances? Should they write to the Chairman of the Development Corporation, or put a Question to the right hon. Gentleman in this House?

Mr. Dalton

I should not like to give a snap answer to that. If the noble Lord will be kind enough to let me know by letter or orally any case which he has in mind, I shall be able to advise him on the best procedure.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

Does the right hon. Gentleman's reply to the last Question and to Question 13 include Scotland or not?

Mr. Dalton

No, Sir.

Mr. Vane

Could the right hon. Gentleman reply to the last part of this Question, and give us some idea of the rents that are being charged?

Mr. Dalton

I am proposing to circulate them in the OFFICIAL REPORT. There are four columns of figures, and if the hon. Gentleman will study them and has then any questions to put, I will consider them.

Mr. Braine

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in Hemel Hempstead the rents charged are between 30s. and 31s. 6d; that in the particular designated area of Basildon there are many old age pensioners and others with small incomes living in their own freeholds at the moment who are quite incapable of paying such rents as these, and can the right hon. Gentleman give them some assurance on the matter?

Mr. Dalton

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will be kind enough to study first what I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

16. Mr. Maudling

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning what action he proposes to take on the Report made to him by the Joint Committee on financial arrangements between local authorities and the new towns corporations.

Mr. Dalton

None, Sir. The proposals in this Report were not generally acceptable either to the new town corporations or to all the local authorities, and direct negotiation between particular authorities and corporations will take place, whenever necessary.

Mr. Maudling

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the difficulties of such local authorities as the Hertfordshire County Council, which have to engage separately with four new towns, the L.C.C. and the authorities who represent the expanding towns?

Mr. Dalton

We will try to simplify the procedure if we can.