§ 41. Mr. Eldon Griffiths
asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if it is his policy to sell public assets such as the land in his possession between Fornham Road and the A45 Northgate interchange in Bury St. Edmunds to single private bidders instead of seeking open competitive tenders; if so, why; and if he will make a statement;
(2) why one of his regional officials, writing on paper headed Departments of Environment and Transport, has refused to allow land in his possession between Fornham Road and the A45 Northgate interchange in Bury St. Edmunds to be offered for sale on the open market; and if this refusal could result in a lower sale price being realised for public funds.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
My Department and the Suffolk county council planned that this land should be used to provide facilities needed for road users at this point on the A45. A developer has approached the Department with firm proposals backed by planning permission for development, including the facilities that we wish to see provided. I decided that if a satisfactory price could be agreed this would be the best means of providing the picnic site rest area and parking facilities required at no cost to the public purse. Negotiations are now well advanced to 195W secure the best price and the sale will take place only if we are satisfied that we have obtained a fair market value. The letters written by officials were consistent with this approach.