§ 2.35 p.m.
§ LORD AMULREE
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the first Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government how many dwelling houses and flats have been done away with to make offices in the County of London in each of the last five years.]
THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF HOUSING AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (EARL JELLICOE)
My Lords, figures are not available. In case this may give the impression that this matter is not regarded as important by Her Majesty's Government, perhaps I may add a few words on the policy. When the development plan was approved in 1955 a provision was written into it that permission would not be given for a change from residential use of any residential building which could still be used, with or without adaptation, for residential purposes of any kind, unless there were very special circumstances. That applied only to standing residential buildings, not to redevelopment. In the current review of the development plan the London County Council propose to add a further provision that, in considering applications for the redevelopment of land previously used in whole or in part for purposes of a residential nature, regard will be had to the need to provide residential accommodation on redevelopment. That would apply to redevelopment for offices or any other commercial use. Although the review has yet to be formally approved by my right honourable friend, he proposes to accept 106 this amendment, and I understand that the London County Council are already applying this policy in dealing with current applications.
§ Lord AMULREE
My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Earl for his reply. While I am sorry the true figures are not available, what he says goes some way to satisfy me.
My Lords, may I ask my noble friend whether there are any restrictions on the adaptation of existing office premises for living accommodation in London?
My Lords, I am afraid my noble friend has bowled me out, but I will look into the matter and let him have a reply.