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Leonards Place, Kensington

Volume 161: debated on Wednesday 14 March 1923

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asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the fact that the London Couny Council, notwithstanding the opposition of the Kensington Borough Council and of the residents in the locality, have recently granted a licence for the erection of a super-cinema in Leonards Place, Kensington, which will involve the destruction of a considerable number of middle-class houses; and whether he will make representations to the London County Council and other local licensing authorities that, during the existing serious shortage in houses, it is undesirable for them to grant licences for the erection of cinemas or other places of amusement which will involve the destruction of residential property?

I have made inquiries, and find that the facts are as stated. I have no power to intervene in a case such as this, but the tenants will have the protection afforded by the Rent Restrictions Acts. The suggestion in the latter part of the question will receive my careful consideration.

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider in connection with the forthcoming Bill whether it would not be well to take temporary powers to prevent the destruction of private houses during the existing shortage in order to build cinemas and theatres?