HC Deb 13 January 1971 vol 809 cc37-9
Mr. Speaker

Mr. Gourlay—Question No. 3.

Mr. Gourlay

Before I ask my Question, Mr. Speaker, perhaps I may be allowed to extend to you my warmest congratulations on your election to the Chair. As a former Deputy Speaker, I think I can appreciate better than most Members the onerous task you have now undertaken, and I wish you good health in performing your duties in the future.

Hon. Members

Hear, hear.

3. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received from Burntisland Town Council regarding the future of Rossend Castle; and if he will make a statement.

The Under-Secretary of State for Development, Scottish Office (Mr. George Younger)

My right hon. Friend has received no formal representations from the Town Council. Rossend Castle is listed as a building of special architectural or historic interest, and any proposals for demolishing it or altering its character will be subject to the procedures laid down in Part V of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act, 1969.

Mr. Gourlay

Is the Minister aware that Rossend Castle was technically demolished, and would have been actually demolished but for an engineering fault in the equipment, before the Minister was given the power by Parliament to invoke these powers which he has now been given in practice? Is he not ashamed to have allowed himself to be pressurised by his political friends and other oddities in Scotland to preserve everything Mary Queen of Scots looked at or Bonnie Prince Charlie sat on, and will he now respect the wishes of the majority of the people of Burntisland and withdraw this Order from this crumbling ruin?

Mr. Younger

I do not think that either Mary Queen of Scots or Bonnie Prince Charlie was involved in this building, but I would say to the hon. Gentleman that the only purpose of the action which my right hon. Friend has taken with regard to this building is to ensure its protection for such time as is necessary to establish whether there is the possibility of a viable scheme to preserve it. That is the sole purpose of the action taken.