HC Deb 19 January 1977 vol 924 cc302-3
3. Mr. Adley

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his latest discussion with the Dorset County Council and Christchurch Council on the future of Highcliffe Castle.

Mr. Marks

I have had no discussions with the local authorities since the compulsory purchase order was confirmed last year.

Mr. Adley

Is the Minister aware that many of my constituents are grateful to him and his predecessors for the help that enabled the local authority to acquire this property? Is he aware of the concern lest the local authority itself takes any action that hinders the wishes of the residents for the preservation of the property? Will he consider sending someone from his Department to Highcliffe to arrange a meeting with local people to see whether a plan can be drawn up that marries the wishes of all?

Mr. Marks

The borough council is now the owner of the site and we should wait until we receive its proposals for protecting and perhaps improving the castle before we take any action. I shall consider the possibility of arranging a meeting of the kind suggested by the hon. Member.

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