HC Deb 17 December 1968 vol 775 cc1138-9
2. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if, in view of the increase in twilight areas in Cheltenham, due to the uncertainty about future development, he will now give his decision on the Cheltenham development plan.

The Minister for Planning and Land (Mr. K. Robinson)

I appreciate the need for an early decision, but my right hon. Friend must be satisfied about the plan's traffic objectives in relation to Cheltenham's outstanding architectural and environmental qualities.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Even if it is taking the Government a long time to come to the right decision to keep the Argylls, why has it taken over one and a half years after the public inquiry to come to a decision on this most important matter to the whole future of Cheltenham? Can we not have some interim reply so that someone can get on with something?

Mr. Robinson

As the hon. Gentleman is no doubt aware, following the inquiry the Cheltenham Borough Council had a change of heart and asked for the plan to be withdrawn. This has not been done, because it is the county plan and opposing views have to be carefully considered. As the line proposed for the new relief road has a very substantial impact on the character of Cheltenham, I want to make quite sure that we are doing what is best for the town before a decision is reached.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the delay, and the nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall do my best to raise the matter on the Adjournment.