HC Deb 14 April 1964 vol 693 cc227-8
27. Mrs. Butler

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will send a circular to local planning authorities encouraging them to follow a policy of improving and enhancing land of negligible amenity value in green belts.

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

There is no need for further guidance. The point was made in the booklet "The Green Belts", which was sent to local authorities in 1962.

Mrs. Butler

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that the Government's green belt policy is directly leading to deterioration of green belt land because owners of scruffy land can make a good case for its being used for building, with a consequent phenomenal increase in value? Is he aware that one Middlesex farmer is using his land for car-breaking and that such practices will increase unless the right hon. Gentleman takes positive action?

Sir K. Joseph

I have no reason to think that the example quoted by the hon. Lady is a normal practice leading to planning approval. There is specific guidance on page 28 of the booklet I mentioned encouraging local authorities in the way she desires.

Mr. Doughty

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the booklet appears to be used as a ground for saying that the green belt must be reduced? Will he give a further assurance that nothing, of the sort is meant by it?

Sir K. Joseph

My hon. and learned Friend is thinking of another booklet, about which he has a Question down later.