HC Deb 05 July 1972 vol 840 cc546-7
35. Mr. Sydney Chapman

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what research his Department is undertaking into the type and size of accommodation of dwellings in which families prefer to live.

Mr. Amery

Surveys of the preferences of families are a major part of the Department's continuous research into user requirements in housing. The results are published in Design Bulletins and other publications. I am sending my hon. Friend some recent examples.

Mr. Chapman

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer but I remind him that 99 per cent. of families prefer to live in low-level development rather than multi-storey blocks of flats, and the proportion of multi-storey blocks being built is much greater than the 1 per cent. Since it is now proved that one can have just as great densities by low-level development as by multi-storey blocks of flats, will my right hon. Friend look into the problem urgently, because research should be done to ensure that people have what they want, and they can have it if all concerned put their mind to it?

Mr. Amery

I entirely agree that the duty of both Government and local authorities is to give the widest possible choice to families. I have always advised that families with children are better housed at ground level, but our studies show that many adult households like high rise and that some older people, though by no means all, prefer the higher densities and the view which is afforded at the higher levels.