HC Deb 09 April 1964 vol 692 cc1182-4
5. Captain Litchfield

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether it is intended to transfer the Chelsea College of Science and Technology to another site; and what use will be made of the present buildings.

The Minister of State for Education and Science (Sir Edward Boyle)

The question whether the Chelsea College of Science and Technology should move from its present site has not yet been settled. The Governors are convinced that the development of the College on the general lines recommended in the Robbins Report will not be possible, unless a new site is obtained, and they are at present exploring, in association with my right hon. and learned Friend's Department, the possibility of a move to an area outside London. If a move should be approved, the future use of the present buildings will be a matter for consideration by the Governors, the London County Council or its successors, and my right hon. and learned Friend's Department.

Captain Litchfield

I appreciate the reasons why it may be necessary for this establishment, which I am sure my right hon. Friend will agree has a very high reputation, to be transferred elsewhere, but ought it not to have been obvious some time ago that this situation would arise? Is my right hon. Friend aware that a large number of artists' studios and houses had to be demolished and a very valuable building site lost to make room for the extension of the Chelsea College of Science and Technology? Is it not a plain fact that the future of this new building, which has not yet been completed, is already in doubt? Finally, will my right hon. Friend give me an assurance that the future of this building will not be hawked around Whitehall but that if possible some use for Chelsea will be found for it?

Sir E. Boyle

In regard to the future of the institution, informal talks have taken place between the College and Hertfordshire County Council about a possible site in that county. I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend on his question about the existing buildings that there is no danger of them, as it were, being wasted, particularly in view of the great demand there is these days for new buildings for institutes of higher and further education.

Mr. Crossman

When the Minister is considering the site in Hertfordshire will he remember that Chelsea has, I think, virtually no technological side while the Hatfield Regional College has an excellent technological side, which might provide a suitable possibility for the two merging, with Hatfield becoming the faculty of technology of the new university?

Sir E. Boyle

I have seen that suggestion and while obviously it would be inappropriate for me to comment on it now, I can assure the House that the hon. Gentleman's point is being fully borne in mind by all those concerned.

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