HL Deb 13 December 1982 vol 437 cc365-6

2.50 p.m.

Lord Nugent of Guildford

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

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many new jobs were estimated to be created by the Lysander development scheme in London Docklands, and what steps they propose to take to ensure that this prospect is not frustrated by local political opposition.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment (Lord Bell win)

My Lords, I understand that about 6,800 jobs would be produced. The Government, in consultation with the London Docklands Development Corporation, are considering urgently what action might be taken following the recent decision of the GLC not to proceed with the release of the site.

Lord Nugent of Guildford

My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that partly reassuring Answer. Is he aware that 6,800 new jobs in this desolate dockland area are a wonderful prospect which should not be lost on any account? Is my noble friend able to say more definitely that there could be the prospect of the Secretary of State vesting this land in the Docklands Development Corporation, which is already making such splendid progress in the redevelopment of docklands?

Lord Bellwin

My Lords, vesting is cetainly an option which is open to the Secretary of State and one which my right honourable friend will doubtless be considering, but I cannot today say more about that.

Baroness Fisher of Retinal

My Lords, can the noble Lord tell the House whether the 6,800 jobs that he has just mentioned will be in manufacturing industries, and, if so, what industries? Alternatively, will they be commercial jobs, light industry jobs, office jobs or whatever? It would be good if the House could have some clear idea of the type of spin-offs that there might be from these industries.

Lord Bellwin

No, my Lords, I cannot do that because the numbers and the particular types will depend entirely upon the final scheme that a developer will decide to put on to the land if it becomes available to him. The problem as regards the point which my noble friend raises is that at the moment, having refused to release the land, it is possible that the situation as it has pertained for some years will continue—that is, that nothing will happen. I should have thought that that was a matter for much greater concern than the type of jobs among the 6,800 to which I referred.