HC Deb 23 May 1950 vol 475 cc1828-9
20. Mr. Mitchison

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether he is aware that the present condition of ironstone workings in Northamptonshire constitutes a grave interference with agricultural production and with the amenities of the countryside; and when he expects to make a statement on the question of restoration.

Mr. Dalton

I have recently visited this area and am very much concerned at the devastation due to ironstone workings. I hope soon to make a statement on the action which I propose to take.

Mr. Mitchison

Is the Minister aware that his predecessor hoped to issue such a statement in January, and will he remember that this is a matter of real urgency which is causing a great deal of feeling not only in the countryside but elsewhere?

Mr. Nabarro

Hear, hear.

Mr. Dalton

During my visit, which lasted for two or three days, I had the opportunity of meeting many people with authority to speak for the local community.

Mr. Harmar Nicholls

Could the Minister be more explicit instead of using the word "soon"? The hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) is right when he says that there is strong local feeling in the area because of the promises made over so many months which, up to now, have not been kept.

Mr. Dalton

Yes, Sir. There are one or two interests which conflict in this matter and which I am trying to harmonise; but I am anxious not to delay.