HC Deb 29 April 1959 vol 604 cc1272-3
48. Mr. Iremonger

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is aware that the Royal Institute of British Architects has received an unsatisfactory answer from the West Midlands and West Riding study groups on urban motorways, set up by him, to its representations concerning the desirability of appointing architects to these study groups; and whether he is satisfied that adequate attention will be given in future to the danger of the "subtopianisation" of increasing areas of the country.

The Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. Harold Watkinson)

Yes, Sir. I fully appreciate the importance of using the best professional advice in this matter. I have written to the chairmen of the two committees, to which my hon. Friend refers, suggesting that they might consider associating an architect or planning expert with the work of their committees from an early stage. The committees are, of course, local authority committees, and not responsible to me.

Mr. Irernonger

Whilst thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, is he aware that the relationship between the architect bodies and the local authorities does not seem to be altogether happy, and would he use his good offices to see that things are smoothed out generally throughout the country?

Mr. Watkinson

I am aware that, on the whole, the professional architectural associations feel that their advice has not been sought as much as they would like. It is certainly my wish, and that of my Department, that we should use their advice as much as we can. We shall need all the advice we can get if we are to solve the urban road problem in particular, so there is no lack of good will on the part of my Ministry.

Mr. Strauss

Whilst supporting the right hon. Gentleman in his attitude, can he do his best to prevent the use of the word "subtopianisation"?

Mr. Watkinson

I cannot agree with the right hon. Gentleman on many things but I can certainly agree with him on that.