HL Deb 01 April 1965 vol 264 cc1138-9

3.9 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Second Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many industrial development certificates for London and the South-East were issued between November 1 last and the latest convenient date, and what total area in square feet they represented; and what were the corresponding figures for the same periods of 1962–63 and 1963–64.]


My Lords, with your permission, I beg leave to reply in the unavoidable absence of the Parliamentary Secretary. For the London and South—Eastern standard region from November 1, 1964, to January 31, 1965, 70 industrial development certificates were issued for an area of 1.1 million square feet. This represented 7–5 per cent. of the area for which I.D.C's were issued in Great Britain as a whole in that period. Comparable figures for the same period of earlier years are not readily available. But for the calendar years 1963 and 1964 the proportion of the total issued for that region was respectively 10 per cent. and 9 per cent.


My Lords, while thanking the noble Lord for his endeavour to produce figures which would be comparable, may I ask whether he can say why it was not possible to produce any figures more recent than those up to January 31 this year? Secondly, could the noble Lord indicate whether this represents a reduction or an increase in the number of industrial development certificates granted?


My Lords, as I said. no comparable figures are readily available. However, as regards floor space, when the new legislation is introduced —that is the Control of Office and Industrial Development Bill—the President of the Board of Trade, so far as the London, Eastern and Midland Regions are concerned, has announced that the exemption limit will be reduced from 5,000 square feet to 1,000 square feet, so as to limit further industrial building in these areas. With regard to the first part of the question, I do not think it is unreasonable for the Department to give figures for as recent a date as January 31, 1965. I say that with respect to the noble Lord, who has experience in Government Departments.