§ Mr. Benyon
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, following the reviews of progress of development at Milton Keynes, he is now able to define a more precise target for the winding up of the development corporation.
§ Mr. Tracey
On 4 February 1981, my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for the Environment indicated that the target date for winding up Milton Keynes development corporation, along with a number of other new town development corporations, should be the late 1980's. We have been reviewing that conclusion.
We are impressed by the very high rates of growth the development corporation has achieved in both housing and employment investment in recent years. We would like these rates to be maintained. We also recognise the corporation's success in attracting private investment and wish to see its continuing efforts to widen the involvement of the private sector.
Nevertheless, key tasks remain for the corporation, such as promoting the further development of central Milton Keynes and in opening up for development the outer parts of the designated area of the new town, for which the special powers and concentration of effort which a development corporation brings are desirable. We will also wish to ensure that the considerable opportunities for further growth and investment in Milton Keynes are fully safeguarded.
In the light of these considerations my right hon. Friend has decided to set 1 April 1992 as the target date for winding up Milton Keynes development corporation. The final decision and formal order will be made in the usual way after further consultations nearer the date.