§ Mr. Allan Roberts
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what future plans he now has for 15–17 Bloomsbury Square;
(2) when he intends to answer the letter written to him by the hon. Member for Bootle about 15–17 Bloomsbury Square;
(3) if he will explain the refusal of his Department to lease the former house of John Nash, 15–17 Bloomsbury Square, on licence to a reputable short-life housing group or association on the grounds that it is not residential accommodation;
(4) if the property, 15–17 Bloomsbury Square, owned by his Department, is being put on sale in advance of the February auction of the property planned by his Department; what is the reserve price for the auction; what price is being asked during his Department's current attempts to sell the property; and how much his Department paid for the property.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
My right hon. Friend has no plans to put 15–17 Bloomsbury Square to Government use. It is to be auctioned, with other property in the immediate area, on 29 February 1980: it is not being put on sale in advance of that auction. A reserve price has not yet been fixed. The property was acquired 539W as part of a larger area in 1974; it is not possible to identify a specific price then paid for this particular property.
I replied to the hon. Member's letter on Friday, 23 November. As my letter states, the building was adapted over 100 years ago for use as the headquarters of a professional society and has remained so.