§ Mr. Dodds-Parker
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in connection with the circular which he issued in December, 1970 about the desirability of local authorities making more land available for housing, he can now give particulars as to the extent to which this request is being met, so far as each of the main regions of the country is concerned.
§ Mr. Graham Page
It is still early days to get an overall picture, but I have had encouraging reports of progress on each of the lines of action recommended to authorities in Circular 10/70. For example, Portsmouth has made a special review of its own land holdings and is to make more than 30 acres of land available for residential owner occupation, while in the West Midlands sales to builders are being accelerated in several important areas such as Coventry, where the council has already sold land for building and is planning to sell more, and Birmingham, where sites for some 680 houses were on offer at the end of February and more may be made available in the near future. Elsewhere a number of planning authorities have taken the initiative in arranging discussions with district councils and builders about land availability proposals. One planning authority in the South-East is discussing the possibility of co-operation between local authorities and private landowners in large-scale housing development. I am hopeful that when we take stock of the situation later this year we shall have made good progress beyond that proposal stage and shall be identifying any obstacles which may remain to be overcome in each area.