§ 13. Mr. Wingfield Digby
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he is aware that there is doubt as to the meaning of his Circular 42/55 about green belts, which mentions institutions standing in extensive grounds as being appropriate to a rural area; and whether this description applies to all new schools, regardless of their character.
The objects of the green belt policy are, I think, well understood. Whether a particular school should be allowed in a green belt will depend largely on the circumstances of the individual case and is, I suggest, best left to the local planning authority.
§ Mr. Digby
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are many, like myself, who support the green belt policy but that there is anxiety about the encroachment into it by local authorities, for example, who naturally are tempted to do so because of the cheaper price of land, and even by his own Department? Would it not be better to clear up the wording of the circular?
To be more precise than in Circular 42 would be to reduce the discretion of those who know best—the local planning authorities.