HC Deb 10 March 1969 vol 779 cc970-1
36. Mr. Peter M. Jackson

asked the Minister of Transport if he will undertake to hold a public inquiry into his proposals to route the M6 motorway through Levens Park; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Marsh

The statutory procedure for establishing a route for the Kendal Link road has been completed. Another route has, however, recently been suggested and is being fully considered.

Mr. Jackson

May I take this opportunity of congratulating my right hon. Friend on having visited the park? Would he not agree that his example should have been followed by members of his Landscape Advisory Committee? Finally, may I say—I hope, on behalf of the 127 Members who have signed early-day Motion No. 188 on Levens Park—how very pleased we are that an alternative route is being reconsidered?

[That this House urges the Minister of Transport to take steps to find ways of diverting the M6 link road to Kendal, so that the incomparable Levens Park, the oldest landscaped park in England, now in its prime, can be saved.]

Mr. Marsh

I am grateful for my hon. Friend's kind remarks, but he has made an unfair reflection on the Landscape Advisory Committee, which has not only visited the park, but has done so more than once. The alternative route has been with the Ministry only a couple of weeks or so. The previous alternatives were rejected by the independent Landscape Advisory Committee largely on the ground that they would have done more damage to the amenity than the Ministry's own line.

Mr. Galbraith

As this park is utterly unique, will the Minister seriously consider trying to save it? As he has had his way with Saltram Park and spoiled it, perhaps when it comes to Levens Park he will allow amenity to take charge.

Mr. Marsh

It is easy to take that view. The argument for the Ministry's line was determined largely on amenity grounds. It was supported by an independent body of people eminent in landscaping. It is not true that the park is to be destroyed. What we are arguing about is a road which, on the Ministry's line, goes through the end of the park. The A6 already runs between the park and the house.