HC Deb 03 February 1970 vol 795 cc194-5
9. Mr. Costain

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will make a statement about the availability of land for private housing in the outer Metropolitan area.

Mr. Denis Howell

The Government wish to see enough land released in the outer metropolitan area to sustain a programme of 35,000 houses a year for seven years commencing 1968. To achieve this programme about 11,000 more acres are needed.

So far local planning authorities have promised to release about 6,000 acres but hope that more will become available in the course of reviewing their development plans. We shall continue to keep this matter under active consideration.

Mr. Costain

Does the hon. Member appreciate that the difference of 25 per cent. in the cost of houses in the London area as compared with the rest of the country is largely due to the shortage and high cost of land? Does he think that the new proposals will realise enough land to get the prices back to normal?

Mr. Howell

We very much hope that more land will be released. It would help if the hon. Gentleman could persuade his hon. Friends that any agency, particularly the Land Commission, which is designed to create more land, should have support and not be abused as it is at present.