§ Mr. David Hunt
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the average length of time which his Department took to process applications for loan sanctions through local authorities in 1976, 1977 and 1978 to date; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Armstrong
It is not possible to generalise about this. The procedures involved in considering applications for loan sanction and the amount of discussions needed with local authorities before loan sanction can be given vary according to the service involved and the nature of the application. In a growing proportion of cases a block loan sanction is given annually to finance expenditure on a programme without the need for specific loan sanction.