HC Deb 19 January 1971 vol 809 cc258-9W
Mrs. Lena Jeger

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many people will be displaced from their homes as a result of the plans for the British Library announced in Command Paper No. 4572; and what arrangements will be made for their rehousing in comparable accommodation at rents they can afford;

(2) how much residential accommodation in hotels and hostels will be lost as a result of the building of the British Library;

(3) what authority will be responsible for the provision of new housing on the British Library site in Bloomsbury; whether he will give an assurance that preference will not be given to private speculative builders; and what discussions he has had with the local authorities.

Mr. Channon

When a count was made a few months ago, some 620 people were living in maisonettes and flats on the site. Only some of these will need to be rehoused in the early stages. Arrangements for rehousing tenants in comparable accommodation will be worked out with the London Borough of Camden, with whose officials informal preliminary consultations have already taken place, and any other authorities concerned. The Camden Council will in any case rehouse its own tenants who temporarily occupy Government accommodation on the site which has been let to the Council.

The site contains two hotels with 175 and 69 bedrooms, respectively, and a hostel with 180 bedrooms.

Until architectural plans have been developed and agreed, it is not possible to say who will actually provide the new housing on the site. No decision on this will be taken without full consultation with the local authority.

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