asked the Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works, If any building lots are yet sold on Northumberland Avenue, and if it is, for any other reason, too late to make a slight change in the line of the street so that it may open to Trafalgar Square on the line of the Nelson Monument; and if he has no objection to postpone the sale of building lots and endeavour to carry out the improvement indicated?
in reply, said, that the building lots in question were not yet sold, but the tenders were prepared, approved, and ordered to be issued. There was a great deal of misapprehension in the public mind in respect to Northumberland Avenue. In 1873, the date of the Charing Cross Act, the Bill brought in by the Metropolitan Board of Works put the Nelson Monument opposite the centre of the street. That Bill went before a Select Committee, and evidence was given by several eminent engineers and architects, including Sir J. Bazalgette, Mr. Hardwicke, Mr. Wyatt, Mr. Barry, and others, recommending an alteration of the street from the line recommended by the Metropolitan Board of Works to that which had since been adopted, and the alteration, which was approved by Parliament, rendered it necessary that the Board should bring in another Bill in 1875, called the Additional Powers Bill. That Bill dealt with the taking away of property which had cost the metropolis an additional £25,000 for the purpose of meeting the views of Parliament, and that large sum of money having been spent, he did not think it would be right now to delay the sale of the building lots or the carrying out of the improvement. He might add that those who gave evidence in favour of the scheme considered that the manner in which it had been carried out was most for the public advantage. With respect to another Question on the Paper by the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. T. Hankey), he had to say that a model plan upon a considerable scale had been prepared, and left in the Library of the House for inspection. Parliament had now disposed of the whole matter, and the street had been completed and handed over to the Vestry of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and for these reasons he was afraid that he could not adopt the suggestions of the hon. Member.