HC Deb 16 February 1972 vol 831 cc112-3W
Mr. Boyden

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the amount of land required for private house building during the next three years in the Northern Region; how much is currently available; and how much has been released by local authorities during the last six months.

Mr. Graham Page

The Northern Economic Planning Council sees a need for 15,000 new private dwellings each year during the 1970s. This is an increase of just over 50 per cent. on current annual output. If densities remain constant correspondingly more land would be needed for private houses. I have seen no evidence of an immediate or general shortage of building land in the region. There are some local difficulties and these are being investigated by the Department's Regional Office. Within the last six months local authorities have sold 355.75 acres of land for private housing; the acreage given planning permissions for housing is not readily available.

Mr. O'Halloran

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now take steps to introduce a ceiling on the price of land for housing purposes; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Graham Page

No, it would be impracticable to devise a scheme which would be both equitable and enforceable.