HC Deb 03 November 1989 vol 159 cc363-4W
Mr. Conway

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the causes for delay in selling houses owned by his Department in Shrewsbury to prison officers based at Her Majesty's prison, Shrewsbury; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Waddington

Since the introduction of the discount sale scheme of quarters to prison officers in June 1987, over 4,500 applications have been received in England and Wales. Approximately 3,400–75 per cent.—sales have so far been completed, with a further 500 accepted offers currently with solicitors.

Inevitably there have been some delays in dealing with difficult cases and at Shrewsbury there have been particular problems with four properties in The Dana opposite the prison. A detailed survey was needed to determine the areas of land to be sold with each property and the question of rights of way and inclusion of associated lock-up garages had also to be considered. The deeds, dating back to 1598, were rather obscure and had to be investigated by the Treasury Solicitor to establish proper title.

The delay in these cases is regretted but the Treasury Solicitor is in possession of all necessary deeds and documents, together with detailed plans for conveyance purposes, and is reaching completions as quickly as possible.