HC Deb 26 November 1980 vol 994 c422
5. Mr. Hugh D. Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland which housing authorities have asked for consent to demolish housing stock since May 1975 to date; how many houses were covered by such applications; how many were refused; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Rifkind

As the answer is lengthy, I shall, with permission, circulate the information in the Official Report. However, I can say that since May 1975 30 local authorities have sought consent to demolish approximately 5,000 houses. Consent to demolish 656 houses has been refused, and proposals to demolish about a further 1,000 houses are currently being considered by my Department.

Mr. Brown

The bulk of the houses are in Glasgow, including my constituency. In view of the Government's declared intention to cut back on housing expenditure over the next few years, will the Minister ensure that adequate resources are available to make the necessary decisions that follow from permission to demolish in the first place?

Mr. Rifkind

It is essentially Glasgow district council that has made the applications. It clearly believes that it will be able to ensure a better use of its available resources if the demolition of particular houses is approved. We shall apply the normal criteria that successive Governments have applied and give Glasgow district council a decision as soon as possible.

Mr. Henderson

How much of the demolition has been of substandard houses, in correcting blunders made by Labour local authorities?

Mr. Rifkind

The criteria under which demolition is normally required are excessive damage caused by vandalism or original faults in the construction, which make it more sensible to demolish the house than to improve it.

Following is the information:

Details of Applications from Local Authorities to Demolish Houses
District Council Numbers Agreed Numbers Refused
(where known)
Argyll and Bute 8
Bearsden and Milngavie 16
Clackmannan 258
Clydebank 8 69
Clydesdale (formerly Lanark) 68 26
Cumbernauld and Kilsyth 3
Cumock and Doon Valley 44
Cunninghame 142
Dumbarton 70