§ 8. Mr. Dudley Smith
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs why he allowed the Central Electricity Generating Board and the Southern Electricity Board's appeal to pull down their existinig building in Pope's Lane, Ealing, and 1077 six houses in order to construct a new storage depôt; and if he will reconsider his decision.
§ Mr. Corfield
As explained in the decision letter of 24th January, a copy of which was sent to my hon. Friend, my right hon. Friend allowed this application in the interests of maintaining an essential public service. My right hon. Friend's decision, which accorded with the views of the local planning authority and of the inspector who took the inquiry, is final and he has no power to reconsider it.
§ Mr. Smith
Does not my hon. Friend think that psychologically it is not a good thing to pull down six perfectly good houses to make way for a storage depôt and car park, particularly when there is a housing shortage? Is he aware that this is a good residential area and that my constituents who live on the other side of the road will suffer a considerable loss of amenity value as a result of this decision?
§ Mr. Corfield
My hon. Friend is right to the extent that we should never come to a decision of this sort, which involves the demolition of houses, in present circumstances unless we had checked and counter-checked the availability and suitability of other sites for this essential service.