HC Deb 21 March 1961 vol 637 cc178-9
3. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is now in a position to make a statement on his consultations with west Midlands local authorities about Birmingham overspill; and, in particular, to what extent the site of the former Royal Ordnance factory at Swynnerton has been considered.

The Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (Mr. Henry Brooke)

I regret that I am still not in a position to add to my reply to the hon. Member's Question of 24th January.

Mr. Swingler

Is the Minister aware of the serious situation that this is causing? Is he aware that the present uncertainty about the use of certain sites in the west Midlands that might be suitable for satellite development means that these sites are virtually sterilised and cannot be developed industrially to create more employment or for any other purpose? Can the right hon. Gentleman do anything to speed a decision about which sites will be used for satellite development?

Mr. Brooke

I am anxious to find a solution for the almost intractable problem of overspill from Birmingham and the west Midlands. If I started naming particular sites before I came to make a decision, I think, quite frankly, that that might start speculation.

Mr. Jennings

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is no use asking local authorities in the west Midlands area to accept Birmingham overspill without industry following or preceding the overspill? Is he further aware that in the Uttoxeter urban district area, within the Burton Parliamentary division, it is being found increasingly difficult to accept Birmingham overspill because no new industry is following and these people are most unhappy in country areas after living in a city area?

Mr. Brooke

Without saying anything in particular about Uttoxeter, I accept from my hon. Friend that it is important that where possible an increase in population should be accompanied by an increase in industrial development.