HC Deb 15 January 1975 vol 884 cc426-7
4. Mr. Fox

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will invite local authorities to designate land specifically for system-built low-cost housing.

The Minister for Housing and Construction (Mr. Reginald Freeson)

I will consider this suggestion in the light of the review of low-cost housing.

Mr. Fox

Is the Minister aware that many local authorities are sitting on colossal land banks and are behaving like misers with this valuable asset? By securing the release of this land the Government would be seen to be tackling the housing crisis and helping the housing problem this year.

Mr. Freeson

I am probing several instances of local authority-held land which could be brought into housing programmes more quickly. I should welcome any information from the hon. Gentleman in support of his general statement, and should be glad to probe the possibility of bringing the land more quickly into housing use.

Mr. Stephen Ross

Will the Minister also look at the question of holiday camps changing over to self-catering establishments? Purpose built chalets of 500 ft. super with two or three bedrooms could be used for permanent occupation if the present planning restrictions were removed. Some chalets are allowed to be occupied for 364 days but others require a break of up to 11 weeks.

Mr. Freeson

That situation and its implications fall to be dealt with by the working party which we have set up under the chairmanship of my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State to look into a variety of questions concerned with mobile residential sites. Any information and ideas on these matters will be welcomed by the working party.

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