HC Deb 09 June 1959 vol 606 cc792-3
14. Mr. Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if his negotiations with the National Coal Board concerning the Bearsden-Summerston development are now completed.

Mr. J. N. Browne

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is in consultation with my noble Friend the Minister of Power about the National Coal Board's proposal to develop a new colliery at Bearsden, and he hopes that it will be possible to intimate a decision at an early date.

Mr. Hannan

But this consultation has gone on for four years now, and the Glasgow local authority simply cannot proceed with the planning and development of this area as a whole until a decision is reached. Four years is a reasonable period to allow. Cannot the Scottish Office take some action to expedite this matter?

Mr. Browne

There are two points. I agree that it has taken a long time to reach a decision but complicated considerations have been raised. As regards holding up development, the hon. Gentleman will know, and the Glasgow Corporation knows, that it would be necessary for the Corporation to amend its development plan and we should then have to consider any objections that might be raised to its proposals.

Mr. McInnes

Surely the hon. Gentleman is aware that to deny a city like Glasgow the opportunity of a housing development for a period of over four-and-a-half years is a shocking scandal? Will he now take steps to ensure that a definite decision is reached very soon?

Mr. Browne

I cannot agree with the hon. Gentleman that it is a shocking scandal to consider the Bearsden-Summerston scheme.

Mr. Hannan

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of this reply, Sir, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.