HC Deb 21 April 1959 vol 604 cc216-7
42. Sir A. Hurd

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will make a statement of the estimated loss of agricultural land to all other purposes during the five-year period covered by the development plans on the basis of those plans and supplementary information.

Mr. Bevins

An analysis has been made of a large number of development plans. This shows that, at the time the plans were prepared, planning authorities in England and Wales thought that, roughly, some 500,000 acres more would be needed for purposes such as housing, industry, schools and open space. The plans cover 20-year periods, and the estimate cannot be broken down into shorter periods. Particulars of this analysis will be given in the Annual Report of the Department to be published next month.

Sir A. Hurd

Can my hon. Friend say whether the figure he has given us squares with the figure provided in the Ministry of Agriculture return showing a loss of about 100,000 acres a year for the construction of houses, playing fields and so on? Would that be right?

Mr. Bevins

The 500,000 acres refers to a period of twenty years, so that the figure of 100,000 would be about right.