7. Mr. Slater
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government to what extent he satisfied himself as to the safeguards to the general public against the dust fall-out in the West Cornforth and Ferryhill areas before granting planning permission for the construction of the new Steetly works.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. J. R. Bevins)
Permission was given by the Durham County Council as local planning authority, and not by my right hon. Friend. But I am assured that the firm's proposals for controlling dust emission were carefully examined before the decision was made.
Is the hon. Member aware that there is great concern in the area in view of what has happened at the Steetly works in the Coxhoe area which is only about two miles from where the new plant is being erected? Is he aware that people in the area are very concerned about the fall-out which may take place when the new works come into operation?
§ Mr. Bevins
Yes, we are aware of the concern felt in other parts of Durham, but before the Durham County Council gave planning permission there was a conference of the county council, the local authority and my right hon. Friend's alkali inspector. We are satisfied that this firm is doing all it possibly can. We shall, however, watch the position carefully.