HC Deb 12 December 1961 vol 651 cc206-7
29. Mr. Fletcher

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he will give his planning consent to the City of London Corporation to release for the immediate building of houses the City Corporation's site of some 20 acres at the disused Caledonian Market that has remained derelict since the war.

Dr. Hill

I want to see the whole of the Caledonian Market site put to good use as quickly as possible, though there is no outstanding application for planning permission. Proposals for zoning this land for residential and other social uses are before me as part of the London County Council's review of the development plan, and I hope to publish my provisional conclusions early next year. There is, however, nothing to preclude an application being made meanwhile in respect of any particular site. I am ready to consider any application that may be made on its merits.

Mr. Fletcher

I am glad to hear that reply, because I gather from it that the right hon. Gentleman realises that it has really been a scandal—[HON. MEMBERS: "Question."] I ask the Minister whether I am right in understanding him to agree that it really is a scandal that, despite the acute shortage of houses in London a site of 20 acres—[HON. MEMBERS: "Question."] Am I right in thinking that the right hon. Gentleman agrees that it really is a scandal that, despite the acute shortage of houses in London, this site of 20 acres should not be utilised for housing? May we take it that he will use his dynamic influence in this matter?

Dr. Hill

I join with the hon. Gentleman in hoping that this site will be developed as speedily as possible.

Mr. Roots

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the statement that 20 acres are disused is incorrect, and that the City Corporation has itself applied to develop 5 acres, which is the only part open to development at the moment?

Dr. Hill

The facts my hon. and learned Friend gives me do not entirely coincide with my own, but I will look into the matter.