HC Deb 18 July 1963 vol 681 cc700-1
13. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he is aware that there are long stretches of the Pennine Way, particularly in Derbyshire, the West Riding and Northumberland, where no overnight accommodation is available for walkers; and what steps he is taking to ensure that this deficiency is remedied.

Mr. Corfield

Yes, Sir. My right hon. Friend is aware of this. A hostel is being provided by the Peak Park Planning Board at Crowden in the Long-dendale Valley. In Northumberland the County Council is discussing the matter with the Youth Hostel Association with a view to making some provision.

Mrs. Castle

I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for that reply. May I point out that the hostel proposed by the Peak Park Planning Board has been under consideration for some time now and that this is a matter of great urgency? When the National Parks Act was passed in 1949 it was always visualised that the authorities would provide this accommodation. They were given powers to do so. Will the Parliamentary Secretary see that there is no further unreasonable delay in these cases?

Mr. Corfield

I am sure that the hon. Lady realises that the initiative must come from the local authorities, the Peak Park Planning Board or the National Parks Commission. When it does I can assure her that there will be no delay by my Department in considering these matters.