HC Deb 07 April 1964 vol 692 cc789-90
23. Mr. D. Foot

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what arrangements he has now made for consultation with local planning authorities and other local authorities on the proposals contained in the South-East Study; what other steps he proposes to take to ascertain public opinion on these proposals; and when he expects to take final decisions as regards the location and size of individual expansions.

The Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (Sir Keith Joseph)

I have asked local planning authorities, and the councils of towns where expansion is suggested, to let me have their views by 30th June; and my Department will arrange meeting; with them when they are ready to discuss the issues which affect them. I am also ready to consider views put forward by any other interested body or person. A final decision to approve a particular expansion cannot be taken without much preparatory work, including a local inquiry. I cannot therefore say when decisions on particular schemes will be retched.

Mr. Foot

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman be a little more specific in giving us a time-table? Does he not appreciate that until the decisions referred to in the last part of my Question are taken it is very difficult for planning authorities to make decisions?

Sir K. Joseph

One of the results of the plan being discussed in public is to cause some doubts until the final decisions are taken. This is inevitable. We shall have the views of the authorities by 30th June and the discussions with them will follow as soon as possible. I hope the decisions will be within the next year.