HC Deb 13 January 1977 vol 923 cc1624-5
5. Mr. Bradford

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will announce the commencement date for the infill scheme relating to the Donegall Pass housing programme; and if he will give the date on which he hopes to issue vesting orders for the entire Donegall Pass area.

Mr. Carter

It is for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to decide when to begin the infill scheme. When a vesting application is received from the Housing Executive in respect of the Donegall Pass redevelopment areas as a whole my Department will deal with it as expeditiously as possible.

Mr. Bradford

Is the Minister aware that the Donegall Pass area is one of the most derelict areas in the whole of Belfast and that his predecessor with responsibility for housing gave a commitment to a deputation that I led that the redevelopment scheme would begin early in 1977 and the infill scheme at the end of 1976? Is he also aware that his answer will cause great concern to those in that area who have tried to help themselves?

Mr. Carter

This is a very complex matter, as are all schemes of redevelopment in Belfast. But as I understand it, the Housing Executive hopes to come forward with a request for the vesting procedure some time in March. As soon as that has been examined by public inquiry, we can go ahead with redevelopment.

Mr. Wm. Ross

When does the Minister expect that the detailed changes resulting from the change in emphasis in housing expenditure in Northern Ireland will be published so that people may know what is entailed?

Mr. Carter

I am not quite sure what the hon. Gentleman means. The change in emphasis has been announced—more towards redevelopment and rehabilitation in Belfast. As a consequence, some areas in Northern Ireland without a pressing housing problem will have their housing programmes slightly diminished. But that is as far as we have gone at present.