HC Deb 19 January 1972 vol 829 cc452-3
26. Mr. Allason

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will make a statement on the future of the Richmond Terrace/New Scotland Yard area.

Mr. Channon

I refer my hon. Friend to the answers my right hon. Friend gave on 10th and 24th November, 1971.—[Vol. 825, c. 157; Vol. 826, c. 371.]

Mr. Allason

A long time has elapsed since then. I hope that my hon. Friend can tell us something fairly soon. When he does tell us something, will he take into account the view of Big Ben from Trafalgar Square, which would have been entirely obliterated by the proposed building of the previous Administration?

Mr. Channon

I take note of what my hon. Friend has said. I shall take note of his views before any decision is announced. I hope that a decision will be announced in the not-too-distant future.

Mr. Crosland

Is not this assuming some element of pure farce? Will the hon. Gentleman say for how long he has had the inspector's report of the inquiry in his hands? Has he not had it for more than a year, if not a year and half, and is not this a unique delay between the receipt of a report and even the publication of it, let alone an announcement of the Government's decision?

Mr. Channon

Publication and decision have to be co-ordinated. I accept that the report was received a considerable time ago. This is a very important area and it is vital to get the decision right. That is why it has taken some time.