HC Deb 19 February 1986 vol 92 cc310-1
13. Mr. Nicholas Brown

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the criteria upon which he grants local authorities loan sanction in respect of the demolition of multi-storey Bison system flats.

Sir George Young

Local authorities do not need loan sanction for the demolition of housing which they own. However, they may now apply to continue to receive housing subsidy in relation to the original costs of such housing. Such applications should be made before deciding to demolish, and my right hon. Friend will agree to them only if he is satisfied that the alternatives to demolition have been fully assessed, including disposal to the private sector.

Mr. Brown

The Minister well knows that local authorities need the subsidy. Is he not making up his policy as he goes along? Why is he condemning people to live in these terrible dwellings? In particular, how can he justify allowing Newcastle city council to demolish, with subsidy, three of the four Bison flats in my constituency, and not allow the demolition of the fourth?

Sir George Young

We have allowed subsidy to continue on two blocks—Crescent and Parade Houses—and the application for a third block is before us now. The reason why there is a problem with the fourth block is that it has already been demolished.