HC Deb 05 February 1963 vol 671 cc208-9
2. Mr. Boardman

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will investigate the effect of green belts on land prices in urban areas adjoining green belts.

Sir K. Joseph

No, Sir.

Mr. Boardman

As the green belts are generally located around towns which already are desperately short of land and, in consequence, there is a fantastic effect on land prices, would not the Minister agree that some less rigid form of control is necessary? Will he ensure that areas already scheduled are subject to periodic review?

Sir K. Joseph

I have to be careful here, because obviously we must reconcile the needs of the present with the needs of the future. I cannot, however, see that because restrictions force up prices in the neighbourhood that is a necessary reason for removing all restrictions. The important thing is to see that an adequate supply of land is forthcoming the whole time.

8. Mr. Sydney Irving

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he proposes to make any change in the metropolitan green belt policy pursued by his predecessors; and if he will make a statement.

Sir K. Joseph

I have no intention of abandoning the green belt policy. I hope shortly to explain my views on the general housing situation in London, and shall say more then about the green belt.

Mr. Irving

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, as The Times said in its first leader yesterday, his statements on this matter have aroused suspicion and that his denial of any intention of raiding the green belt makes more enigmatic his assertion about the supply of land? Will he bear in mind that any serious interference with the metropolitan green belt will destroy one of Britain's finest planning achievements? Can he say nothing at all now about his statement?

Sir K. Joseph

I suggest that the hon. Gentleman await my statement. I repeat that I have no intention of abandoning the policy of my predecessors. I am convinced that the green belt has a permanent part to play in the planning of Greater London.

Mr. M. Stewart

Will the right hon. Gentleman also remember that the policy of his predecessors included an explicit statement by the present Home Secretary that he objected even to nibbling at bits of the green belt?