§ 48. Mr. Braine
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what decision has been made following discussions between a deputation from the Billericay Urban District Council and his Department concerning proposals to expand the towns of Billericay and Wickford.
§ Mr. H. Macmillan
No decision has been made. The discussions between the council's representatives and my Department were exploratory; the council wanted information about the working of the Town Development Act. It is now for them to consider whether they wish to make proposals.
§ Mr. Braine
Can my right hon. Friend give me two assurances? First, that there will be no development of these two towns which is detrimental to the neighbouring new town of Basildon and, secondly, that any such development will 196 not be authorised without giving the inhabitants of the two towns the opportunity of expressing an opinion on the subject?
§ Mr. Macmillan
Of course the effect on any neighbouring town, and especially the new town of Basildon, is a most important factor. But having passed the legislation, I do not think it would be right for me to prevent inquiries and the normal procedure for local authorities to be informed as to its working.