HC Deb 29 March 1960 vol 620 cc1117-8
22. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he has approved development proposals for the site adjacent to William IV Street and St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church; and what views have been expressed by the Royal Fine Art Commission.

Sir K. Joseph

The London County Council, as local planning authority, granted permission for this development in March, 1959, after consulting the Royal Fine Art Commission. The Commission recommended that the height should be reduced by one storey, but the L.C.C. considered that this would have an adverse affect on the proportions of the building.

Mr. Robinson

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the published sketch plans of this building suggest that while it is not, perhaps, in the Cafe Monico category, it will be a building of little or no distinction, and totally unworthy to stand beside its uniquely beautiful neighbour? Cannot the Minister use his undoubted powers to get someting a little bit better on this very important site?

Sir K. Joseph

We cannot create beautiful design by Government will or decree. These are matters of judgment and the London County Council has its own architectural advisers.