HC Deb 04 February 1981 vol 998 c288
21. Mr. Jessel

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to protect the environment of the River Thames in 1981.

Mr. Heseltine

I shall continue to use the powers available to me to try to improve the quality of development near the River Thames in London.

Mr. Jessel

Will my right hon. Friend accept that the River Thames at and near Twickenham is an asset that is very highly valued by the community, with its views, its parks and its trees? Will he ensure that it is the policy of his Department to stop the construction of any large or ugly buildings along the river banks?

Mr. Heseltine

I must not talk in detail about particular proposals which might prejudice my quasi-judicial position on planning matters, but in general terms I have as a high priority the raising of the quality of architecture for development on Thamesside.

Mr. Spearing

Will the Secretary of State accept that in the dockland area of London many of the inhabitants believe that the environment should be protected from the urban development corporation and from the powers of the Secretary of State? Will he confirm that if the urban development corporation is established in London dockland, he will direct its officers to secure the full co-operation of the boroughs, and that he will do everything to ensure that that is provided by them by their free will?

Mr. Heseltine

I am sure that the hon. Member appreciates that this matter is now being considered in another place, and that it will be considered again in this House. It would be wrong for me to follow him down the line of potential controversy when what I now seek is a far better deal for the people living in that area.