HC Deb 26 June 1969 vol 785 c1694
27. Mr. Palmer

asked the Postmaster-General if he will make a statement about the design of the proposed new building for the Bristol Central Telephone Exchange in relation to the views of the Royal Fine Art Commission, details of which are in his possession.

The Postmaster-General (Mr. John Stonehouse)

Planning clearance was sought from the local planning authority. I understand that the authority took into account the views of the Royal Fine Art Commission and the public and considered a number of alternative designs. It has given planning clearance for a design incorporating a 300 ft. slender tower.

Mr. Palmer

Is my right hon. Friend aware that Bristol is an ancient and beautiful city? Does not he feel that he has some obligation in this respect when proposing new tall buildings? In view of the objections of the Royal Fine Art Commission and those of many sections of local opinion, will not he look into the matter again and order or ask for a public inquiry?

Mr. Stonehouse

I am well aware of the great attractions of Bristol. I am also aware that there is very severe congestion during peak hours, particularly on telephonic routes to Bristol. We want to deal with that by the erection of some construction which will enable communications to improve. I am satisfied that the planning authority has gone into this with great care, that there is no need for any additional inquiry, and that this is the best decision.