HC Deb 01 February 1961 vol 633 cc129-30W
87. Mr. Holland

asked the Postmaster-General what steps he is taking to ensure that the increasing height of buildings in the Greater London area will not hamper or prevent his long-term plans for the development of the trunk telephone network and television links.

Mr. Bevins:

Future development of the trunk telephone network and lone-distance television links for the B.B.C. and I.T.A. depends to an ever-increasing extent on the use of radio techniques. The increase in the height of new London buildings presents a new problem since it is essential that the visual path for these radio services to and from the switching centre of the Post Office net- work at the Museum Telephone Exchange at Howland Street is not obstructed. The only way to ensure this is to lift the aerials to a sufficient height. I am considering a proposal to put them in a tower about 500 feet high.

The tower would be an important addi- to the London skyline, and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Works and I are most anxious that the most suitable design should be produced. Our ideas include the provision of an observation room at the top of the tower, with access for the public by express lift. The Ministry of Works design has been accepted in outline by the Royal Fine Art Commission, and the L.C.C. has accepted the project in principle.

I am arranging for a model of the scheme to be placed in the Library later today.