HC Deb 22 March 1955 vol 538 cc1862-3
13 and 20. Mr. Oswald

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) when the Edinburgh Corporation submitted a request to his Department for permission to demolish and rebuild houses in the Dumbiedykes area of the Holyrood ward of the city;

(2) if he is aware of the shortage of houses in the City of Edinburgh; and whether he is now in a position to grant permission to the corporation to proceed with their plans to demolish slum property and to rebuild houses in the centre of the city.

Commander Galbraith

The only proposals submitted by the corporation for the demolition and rebuilding of houses in the centre of the city are those relating to the Dumbiedykes area contained in the corporation's development plan. These proposals were submitted by way of an amendment to the plan on 14th January, 1954; and, as the plan is still under consideration, the corporation asked, on 17th February, 1955, that the proposals be separately considered. My right hon. Friend hopes to give his decision on the proposal very shortly.

Mr. Oswald

Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman not agree that there is a considerable waste of time between when the application is made by the corporation and when the decision is actually made? There is a long period between the two. Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman further aware that the conditions in the area are appalling in consequence of the inclement weather, and cannot something be done to speed this matter up?

Commander Galbraith

No, Sir. The development plan for the City of Edinburgh is a very important matter, and calls for very great consideration. This proposal in regard to the Dumbiedykes area was only put in apart from the plan in February this year.

Mr. Pryde

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the Edinburgh Corporation is as far behind with its housing programme as the Coal Board is with its deliveries?

Commander Galbraith

I think that the hon. Gentleman knows the answer to that.

30. Mr. Hoy

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has received from Edinburgh Corporation for slum clearance and rebuilding schemes in Leith.

Commander Galbraith

My right hon. Friend confirmed a Clearance Order in 1952, under which the demolition of 88 unfit houses is now proceeding at Burns Street, Leith. He understands that the corporation is giving preliminary consideration to the clearance of other small central areas in Leith, but no specific proposals have yet been submitted to him.

Mr. Hoy

Would the right hon. and gallant Gentleman help the carrying out of this work by approaching the Secretary of State for War with a view to getting the War Department to release Leith Fort for housing purposes and so accelerate any scheme for slum clearance?

Commander Galbraith

I understand that that matter is before the Edinburgh Corporation.