HL Deb 05 December 1967 vol 287 cc659-62WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the respective terms of reference and functions of the Central Unit for Environmental Planning mentioned in Debate of 9th November 1967 by the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Public Building and Works and the Centre for Environmental Research to which a grant in aid for expenses appears under the heading L5 in Class VI, 1 of the Civil Estimates 1967–68; who are the members of those bodies and how many of them in each case are civil servants; how often each body meets and whether it is proposed to publish any reports by either body.


The Centre for Environmental Studies was formally set up in May 1966 for the purpose of advancing education and research in the planning and design of the physical environment. Amongst its aims are the maintenance of liaison with other bodies with similar functions throughout the world. The Centre is supported by the Government and the Ford Foundation; the Government grant will amount for the first five years to 1½ times the contribution of the Ford Foundation up to a maximum of £600,000.

One civil servant serves on the Board of Governors which comprises:

Chairman: Lord Llewelyn-Davies—Professor of Architecture, University of London;

Vice Chairman: Lord Fiske—Chairman, Decimal Currency (Former Leader of the Greater London Council);

International Governor: Mr. Martin Meyerson—President of the State University of New York, Buffalo.

Ordinary Governors:

Mr. C. D. Foster—(civil servant) Director-General of Economic Planning, Ministry of Transport;

Lord Holford—Professor of Town Planning, University of London;

Lord Jellicoe—S. G. Warburg and Co.—formerly Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government;

Mr. Max Rayne—Chairman, London Merchant Securities Limited;

Mr. William Taylor—Chairman of the Livingston New Town Development Corporation;

Professor R. M. Titmuss—Professor of Social Administration, London School of Economics.

The Governors have held 15 meetings in the last 18 months.

The Centre became operational on 1st April, 1967, when Dr. A. H. Chilver, Professor of Civil Engineering in the University of London, was appointed Director of the Centre on a part-time basis. No other senior staff have yet taken up appointment; a civil servant (S.E.O.) has been temporarily seconded to the Centre to assist in administration.

It is expected that reports on the work of the Centre will begin to be published after it has completed its first year.

The Central Unit for Environmental Planning was set up with the dual purpose of undertaking centrally work on the national aspects of regional planning and of undertaking detailed studies on particular problems of regional and environmental planning. As its first tasks, the unit has been engaged on studies of the feasibility of placing in Humberside or Severnside one or more of the major new centres of population, which may be needed to accommodate some of the large addition which is expected to accrue to the population of Great Britain up to the end of the century.

The unit consists of civil servants drawn from various departments but working together as a team without regard to departmental responsibilities. There are seventeen members four of whom are full time, comprising administration officials, economists, statisticians and physical planners. The unit is attached to the D.E.A. and has met 31 times since its inception.

The Central Unit set up Physical Planning Units on Humberside and Severn-side, composed of staff of various disciplines seconded from local authorities within the area of study, to carry out assessments of the physical characteristics of the areas. The Humberside Physical Planning Unit has now concluded its work.

Reports by the Unit will be published from time to time.

House adjourned at twenty-seven minutes before ten o'clock.