HC Deb 16 March 1987 vol 112 c398W
Mr. Murphy

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will outline the effects of Government policy since 1979 on the residents of new towns.

Mr. John Patten

Residents of new towns, like residents elsewhere, have benefited from the Government's economic, social and environmental policies implemented since 1979.

In the field of housing, tenants of new town development corporations have the same "tenants' charter" rights as we introduced for local authority tenants. Since 1979, more than 20,000 corporation tenants have bought their homes under our voluntary sale and right to buy policies. More than 8,000 people who might not otherwise have been able to afford home ownership have become owner-occupiers through new town shared ownership programmes. Some 25,000 homes, catering to a wide range of needs, have been built under licence by private developers for freehold sale.

Fruitful collaboration between new town development corporations and private industry and commerce has created job opportunities and contributed to the quality of life of the town's residents.

The purposes for which the development corporations were established have been substantially achieved in nine towns since 1979, and the corporations have been wound up in accordance with section 41 of the New Towns Act 1981. The remaining six corporations are also well on the way to completing their tasks, and we have proposed target dates for their wind-up.