§ Major Beamish
asked the Minister of Health if he will state briefly the processes through which a local authority has to go between selecting a piece of land for a housing project and obtaining the final approval of his Ministry; what is the average time taken for this procedure; and what steps are being taken to speed it up.
§ Mr. Bevan
Before obtaining my approval to the purchase of a site for housing purposes, a local authority must obtain the agreement of the local planning authority and of the Regional Planning Officer. The latter ascertains that the site is free from objection by other Government Departments, including the Ministry of Agriculture. In the normal straightforward case this process is completed within three to four weeks, I am proposing to discuss with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether any steps can be taken to speed up this procedure without prejudice to planning and agricultural interests.