HC Deb 21 March 1961 vol 637 cc191-2
22. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs to what extent the building of many-storied domestic flat dwellings in extra-Metropolitan boroughs has modified the previous policy of reducing the population of certain of those boroughs; approximately how many persons have been rehoused during the last ten years in flat-dwellings of more than two floors within London and the extra-Metropolitan area; what is now considered to be the desirable maximum density of persons per acre in these areas; and how much land has been made permanently open by the provision of this type of dwelling.

Mr. Brooke

There has been no material change from the objectives set out in the approved plans for the extra-Metropolitan boroughs.

One hundred and twenty-three thousand one hundred and fifty-three flats in buildings over two stories have been erected by local authorities in the London housing region in the past ten years, but I have no information about the number of people rehoused in them nor about the number of such flats built by private enterprise.

The zoned densities in the development plans in London and the extra-Metropolitan areas vary from 30 to 200 persons per acre. I do not think it is practicable to suggest any particular density as a desirable maximum; nor can I give any figure for the last part of the Question, though one of the objects and results of building higher is to leave more space open around the buildings.

Mr. Sorensen

Does not the Minister feel that it would be very valuable to those earnestly concerned in this matter if such information as I have asked for were obtained? Does not he also appreciate that the assumed criterion of density has been badly affected by the new development in housing? Under those circumstances, cannot he endeavour to secure the information that I desire?

Mr. Brooke

The important point is the density figure. I have asked all the planning authorities concerned to review their densities. But I have to go through certain statutory procedures before alterations in the development plans are made, and I do not think that I can be asked to lay down an optimum or maximum density for a whole area—because it is bound to depend, to some extent, on local circumstances.

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