HC Deb 30 October 1956 vol 558 cc1225-6
13. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government when he proposes to approve the County Development Plan of Essex, with or without modification.

Mr. Powell

My right hon. Friend cannot yet give a date when the Essex Development Plan will be approved. A number of important matters are still under consideration, and when these are settled the preparation of the necessary maps will take several months to complete.

Mr. Ridsdale

Is my hon. Friend aware that the redevelopment of the old town of Harwich is being held up because, under the 1947 Act, the Minister cannot authorise approval for a compulsory purchase order in advance of the approval of the county plan as a whole, with or without modifications? Will he assure us that he will therefore take all steps to see that the development of what is known as No. 1 Area, Harwich, is not held up by the Government on account of any red tape?

Mr. Powell

There is no reason why the borough council's plans for redevelopment should be held up by the fact that the development plan as a whole has not been approved. The council has been advised that it can submit the necessary compulsory purchase order.

Mr. Ede

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind the fact that many other counties besides Essex are experiencing similar difficulties?

Mr. Powell

I have just explained that the particular difficulty which my hon. Friend raised does not in fact exist—and that will probably be found to be so in the other cases.