HC Deb 11 December 1956 vol 562 c221
44. Mrs. L. Jeger

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what proposals he has for the provision of more residential accommodation in central London; and whether, in view of the housing need and the heavy demands on transport facilities, he will refuse his consent to any further business and commercial building in the central area.

Mr. Sandys

It was in order to reduce congestion that I modified the County of London Development Plan so as to increase the area allocated for residential use and to restrain the spread of commerce in the central areas. Since then I have missed no opportunity of stressing the importance of these questions. I am hoping shortly to receive from the London County Council and the City Corporation proposals for further measures to relieve congestion.

Mrs. Jeger

Whilst appreciating the steps which the Minister has already taken, may I ask him whether he would agree that there are indications that office building in central London is already excessive, as one can see from the number of advertisements about office space to let in many of these new, and older, office buildings? Is he not prepared to answer the specific point of my Question, as to whether he will definitely refuse his consent to any further business or commercial building, at least for the time being?

Mr. Sandys

It is not so easy. It really would not be realistic to put a ban on all further commercial building in what is, after all, the principal commercial centre of this country; and, apart from whether it would be wise to do so, the compensation involved would run into fantastic figures. That must be borne in mind; but I am doing what I can to keep additional commercial building within bounds.