HC Deb 18 November 1970 vol 806 cc1226-7
46. Mr. Tebbit

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of his decision to encourage the sale of existing houses in new towns, he will now take steps to ensure that in future more land in new towns will be allocated for private building of houses for sale than for corporation building of houses for rent.

Mr. Peter Walker

The proportion of land to be used for these two purposes is bound to depend on complex local circumstances. I shall however be encouraging development corporations to make enough land available to allow private house building to take an increasing share.

Mr. Tebbit

Am I safe in assuming that my right hon. Friend is aware that if we are to reach the 50–50 ratio which is the absolute minimum acceptable to most of us on this side of the House, in new towns particularly, he will have to divert very large areas of land to have houses built on them directly for sale instead of going through the back door of renting them to tenants first and then selling them?

Mr. Walker

I think that the 50–50 ratio was agreed by both sides of the House. Certainly, I agree that much progress must be made to reach that figure.