§ 13. Mr. Swingler
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will now make a statement on the future of the site of the former Royal Ordnance Factory, Swynnerton.
§ The Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (Sir Keith Joseph)
In agreement with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War and other Ministers concerned I have concluded that it would not be desirable to propose using or earmarking this site for any major development of the kind that would depend on the issue of industrial development certificates, or the provision on a substantial scale of new housing and community services. Discussion of detailed proposals for disposing of the site in conformity with that conclusion must now proceed between the War Office and the local planning authority, and the House will be informed of the outcome.
§ Mr. Swingler
Can the Minister elaborate a little more what that means? Having spent several years in order to reach a decision about this site, do we understand that the Minister has now 12 arrived at the conclusion that it is unsuitable for satellite development, and is no longer related to the question of overspill? Are we to understand that there will now be a real sense of urgency in using this site for industrial development in North Staffordshire?
§ Sir K. Joseph
The disposal of the site, in the light of the decision that I have just announced, will be a matter for discussion between the county and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War. I can confirm that, as the hon. Member concludes, we have decided that this is not a suitable place for a new town or for a satellite town. There is a limited amount of mobile employment available, and we have to take the decision about solving overspill problems on a broader basis than that of new towns only.