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Volume 203: debated on Thursday 14 July 1870

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said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Deputation from Inhabitants of the Borough of Southwark, which was recently received by him, Whether he has taken any steps with a view to prevent the erection of buildings in Southwark Park?

, in reply, said, that the Question related to a matter of considerable importance. Under the Act of 1864, the Metropolitan Board of Works purchased, at the expense of the ratepayers of the metropolis, 60 acres of land, and they proposed to sell 16 acres as building land in order to recoup themselves for a portion of the expense, which would amount in all to £100,000. The inhabitants of Southwark protested against that proceeding, alleging that the part of the land proposed to be taken was much frequented by the people, and that, owing to the peculiar shape of the Park, the proposed erection of houses would not only curtail it, but materially diminish the value to the public of the remaining portion. His own individual opinion was in favour of open spaces, as I large as possible, being maintained, as lungs for the crowded population of the metropolis, and if any action of his could possibly secure such a result, that action would be taken; but the only step he could take was to bring the matter under the consideration of his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. If the hon. Member thought it desirable that further steps should be taken in the matter, it would be open to him to call the attention of the House to the subject.