HC Deb 24 January 1961 vol 633 cc23-4
32. Mr. Abse

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he will expedite his approval of the plans submitted to him for the development of the west and south-west areas of Cwmbran New Town; and whether he will give assurances that the Cwmbran Development Corporation will not be wound up on reaching the original population target of 35,000.

Mr. Brooke

I have asked the local authorities concerned for their comments on the plans, and I hope to receive these soon. Meanwhile I am examining the Development Corporation's programme and considering whether it should go on building after the population reaches 35,000.

Mr. Abse

In view of the fact that past delays and the Government's restrictions and hampering have already meant that in the coming year only 200 houses will be built in Cwmbran, will the Minister endeavour to expedite the decisions which he is anticipating? Does he appreciate that any premature winding up of the Cwmbran Development Corporation could result in considerable speculation in land in the west and southwest area, in view of the fact that there is considerable industrial development nearby? [HON. MEMBERS: "Speech."] Will he therefore give a decision on this question of the target in order to prevent Cwmbran New Town from being affected by speculative plunderers as in nearby Newport?

Mr. Brooke

I cannot accept any of the criticisms in the hon. Member's supplementary question. I should have thought that he wished me to consider any comments that the local authorities make on the Development Corporation's plan. When I receive those comments I will reach decisions as soon as possible. I recognise that the designated area of Cwmbran would hold a population of up to 55,000, and the question will have to be decided who is to do any building over and above 35,000.