HC Deb 10 February 1959 vol 599 cc994-5
33. Mrs. Castle

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will review the present arrangements for issuing industrial development certificates, in order to ensure that industrial expansion takes place in the areas of greatest need.

Mr. J. Rodgers

The policy is kept under constant review. The hon. Lady will appreciate that the direct effect of this control is purely negative.

Mrs. Castle

Is not it absurd that, instead of going to a distressed area like Blackburn, the British Nylon Spinners have quite recently taken their new plant to Gloucestershire, which is not on the Board of Trade priority list? Does not that make a mockery of planning under the Distribution of Industry (Industrial Finance) Act, and will the Board of Trade take powers to see that industrial development certificates are required not only for the purpose of new factories but for existing ones?

Mr. Rodgers

The granting of industrial development certificates must be kept flexible, but I am quite confident that the granting of them has become more and more difficult in congested areas. Perhaps it would interest the hon. Lady if I gave her the three reasons for which they are issued. Firstly, they are freely granted in D.A.T.A.C. areas; secondly, in other areas of high unemployment, they are granted where the project is suitable or tied to a particular place; and, lastly, in areas of low unemployment, the applicant must provide overriding reasons for being allowed to develop there.

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