HC Deb 14 July 1970 vol 803 cc1338-9
5. Mr. Murton

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what are his plans for ensuring an adequate supply of building land ahead of immediate requirements.

Mr. Graham Page

My right hon. Friend appreciates that the availability of land is essential to the revival of the house-building programme and we are beginning discussions with local authorities about this.

Mr. Murton

Does my hon. Friend agree that part of the problem is that land has been brought forward in too small quantities and only from time to time, and that this has probably added quite considerably to the cost to the home buyer? Will my hon. Friend consider a ten-year rolling programme for the release of land in the future?

Mr. Page

I agree with the first remarks of my hon. Friend. On the second part of his question, I think that a lot depends on regional planning, and we are pressing forward with that as best we can.

Mr. Freeson

The Minister said that the Government were beginning discussions with local authorities. Is he not aware that discussions on this matter have been going on for some time, particularly with county planning authorities? Does he appreciate that one of the difficulties, that of the resistance to releasing land, can be overcome by the use of the Land Commission in selected areas?

Mr. Page

No, Sir.

Mr. Sandys

While recognising the need for more land for building, may I ask my hon. Friend to remember the importance of preserving the Green Belt?

Mr. Page

Yes, Sir.

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