HC Deb 20 December 1960 vol 632 cc143-4W
Mr. McLaren

asked the Secretary to the Treasury what transactions have recently taken place involving the use of the National Land Fund.

Sir E. Boyle

The Commissioners of Inland Revenue have recently accepted in settlement of Estate Duty two properties offered to them by the executors of the deceased, and in both cases the Treasury have directed that the property should be transferred to the National Trust.

(1) Tatton Park in Cheshire, formerly belonging to Lord Egerton, is historically interesting as being unspoilt parkland laid out by world-famous 18th century landscape architects. It is also of the utmost amenity importance, since it forms a stretch of untouched rural countryside sandwiched between the industrialised Black Country and the urban-industrialised areas of Lancashire to the north. Tatton Hall and gardens are already owned by the Trust having been bequeathed to the Trust by Lord Egerton. The cost of Tatton Park to the National Land Fund is £125,610. The whole property is being let on a 99-year lease to Cheshire County Council, who have accepted full financial responsibility for its upkeep.

The transaction is therefore an excellent example of co-operation between a local authority, the National Trust and the Government to preserve a great house and estate for the nation. Some essential repair and maintenance work still needs to be done, but public access will be allowed as soon as it is completed.

(2) A 270-acre property at Good-a-meavy, Devon, which has been transferred to the National Trust at a cost of £1,150 to the National Land Fund, consists of Dewerstone and Cadworthy Woods, which rise steeply from the rivers Meavy and Plym to a headland commanding extensive views south-westwards over the Bickleigh Valley and over the tract of rolling moorland forming Wigford Down (also included in the transfer). This land is the nearest part of the Dartmoor National Park to Plymouth, and besides being of great natural beauty it includes an Iron Age hill fort. Necessary work in connection with arrangements for public access, and some repair and maintenance work, remain to be done. Public access will be allowed as soon as this is completed.

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