§ 23. Mr. Brooks
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what proposals he has to give statutory protection to the West Cheshire Green Belt, in the light of the anticipated housing need in Wirral forecast by the Merseyside Transportation and Land Use Study.
§ Mr. K. Robinson
The study to which my hon. Friend refers has only just been completed and will have to be considered by all the Government Departments and local authorities concerned. I intend to await the result of this before considering further action.
§ Mr. Brooks
In view of the enormous pressures now clearly forecast for an already congested peninsula, does not my right hon. Friend agree that it is urgent to define just what areas should be safeguarded as open places in the future? Does he agree that it is particularly urgent now to establish the future likelihood of a Dee crossing, which might make available parkland and recreational areas in large parts of North-East Wales for Merseyside?
§ Mr. Robinson
I accept that it is an important study, but it was presented only yesterday to the steering committee. I can assure my hon. Friend that green belts are safeguarded by day-to-day planning control.
§ Captain W. Elliot
Is the Minister aware that green belts all over the country, and particularly the London Green Belt, are threatened not only by the building of houses but by runways and motorways? Will he look at the whole question of green belts all over the country?
§ Mr. Robinson
The whole question of green belts is under continuous review, and I think that the hon. Gentleman's fears are exaggerated.