HC Deb 18 October 1982 vol 29 c13
18. Mr. Jessel

asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, if he will make a statement on the proposals for the future of the redundant church of St. Albans, Teddington.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Representing Church Commissioners (Sir William van Straubenzee)

I am aware of proposals for the future of this building which the diocese of London has under consideration. I understand that these proposals are the subject of a planning application to Richmond borough council.

Mr. Jessel

Will my hon. Friend explain to the House why St. Albans cannot go on as it is, and will he take note that an extremely difficult situation has arisen because most local people, as he will see from the reports that I have sent to him, wish St. Albans to stand but are opposed to what has been shown to be the only viable way of paying for it?

Sir William van Straubenzee

In the view of the diocese of London, which is the responsible authority in this matter, changes may be necessary. I have to be careful, although I hope that I have not been unhelpful to my hon. Friend, because it could be that recommendations will be made to the Church Commissioners on which they would have to act in a quasi-judicial capacity. However, I can tell my hon. Friend, from certain knowledge, that all the anxieties of the local residents, of which he has made me aware, will be carefully weighed before decisions are reached.