HC Deb 20 December 1974 vol 883 c667W
Mr. Crowder

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give his Department's definition of a housing action area; and whether it is possible for a local authority to draw up an action area plan for draft housing proposals within an area which does not come within the precise definition of an action area.

Mr. Freeson

The requirements governing the declaration of a housing action area are set out in Section 36 of the Housing Act 1974. My right hon. Friend will issue further guidance in a departmental circular as soon as possible. Given that a range of special powers are available only in declared housing action areas, a local authority would be most unlikely to achieve similar results by the use of other general powers alone, although these may be used additionally in housing action areas. My right hon. Friend would be prepared, exceptionally, to consider housing action area declarations which relate to neighbourhoods where conditions are not strictly in accordance with those to be set out in the forthcoming guidance but where he is satisfied that special problems exist which justify this type of treatment.