§ 4. Mr. Thomas Cox
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will seek discussions with industrial companies which have received Government grants and which are moving out of London as 2 to the future use of the land which becomes vacant once the companies move.
§ The Minister for Industrial Development (Mr. Christopher Chataway)
The use to which such land can be put is already subject to industrial development certificates, office development permits and planning procedures. I do not think that anything further is required.
§ Mr. Cox
Is the Minister not aware that that kind of pathetic reply is not good enough? After these companies have received, in many cases, millions of pounds of public money to move out, surely local authorities have some right as to the future use that is made of the sites on which those companies existed? At the moment, within London, vast sums of money—
§ Mr. Chataway
The hon. Member will be aware that the criticism we most often get from Labour benches is that not enough industry is encouraged to move into development areas. Registered vacancies in Greater London are now higher than they have been since 1966, while unemployment is virtually non-existent.
§ Mr. Chataway
The right hon. Gentleman will know that both central and local government have considerable powers over the use of the land through IDC and ODP policies, and through planning procedures.