HC Deb 29 April 1958 vol 587 cc161-2
1. Mr. W. Edwards

asked the Minister of Works what alternative accommodation he proposes to offer to the families whose housing accommodation will be demolished as a result of the Royal Mint extension proposal.

The Minister of Works (Mr. Hugh Molson)

I am under no statutory obligation to offer alternative accommodation to these families. I have asked the London County Council to find them accommodation.

Mr. Edwards

If the London County Council cannot find accommodation for these people, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is one lady of over 70 years of age who has lived in this area for most of her life and that she cannot get any sleep at night because of the fear of eviction arising from the compulsory purchase order? Will the right hon. Gentleman look into the matter instead of relying upon the London County Council? Will he also take into account the case of the son-in-law of the freeholder? He has sold his property with vacant possession, leaving him with nowhere to go when the property is delivered to the Ministry of Works?

Mr. Molson

This land was designated for compulsory purchase in the County of London Plan, 1948. There were no objections to the designation. The compulsory purchase order was made on 7th March, 1958, and there have been no objections so far. The proposals to do this were published in January, 1958. Therefore, these people have had full warning that this property was to be taken over for the extension of the Royal Mint.

Mr. Gibson

While it is true that this piece of land was scheduled years ago to be taken for this purpose, surely the Minister feels that he has a moral obligation to make sure that the people who are turned out shall be re-housed. Is he aware that it is no use waiting for the London County Council, because it has more on its plate already than it can deal with? Should not some special effort be made by the Department which is taking the land for the development of the Mint, which is a proper development? Will not the right hon. Gentleman look at the matter again?

Mr. Molson

No, Sir. Full notice was given of this proposal ten years ago. The London County Council is the housing authority. I am under no obligation to provide alternative accommodation for these people, who have had long notice that the land was to be acquired.