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Town And Country Planning

Volume 395: debated on Thursday 2 December 1943

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Covent Garden Opera House And National Theatre, London

39 and 40.

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning (1) whether, when the replanning of London is under consideration, he is prepared to take steps to preserve the Covent Garden Opera House for use as an opera house, and to provide it with properly-planned approaches;

(2) whether he is taking steps to see that a suitable site is provided for the proposed national theatre in London?

It will be for the local planning authority, in the first instance, to consider for what purposes land should be allocated and how existing buildings should be dealt with. Perhaps my hon. Friend will bring his suggestions to their notice.

Are we to understand that the Minister is not going to give any direction at all to local authorities where buildings or sites of national importance are concerned?

We shall watch what is done by the local authorities, but I think that they have the point in which my hon. Friend is interested well under consideration at present.

Will the right hon. Gentleman, in giving consideration to the Covent Garden Opera House proposal, bear in mind this is very nearly the only country in Europe which has not subsidised grand opera?

Land Values


asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning, in view of the recommendation contained in the Uthwatt Report regarding the land values ceiling at 31st March, 1939, why it is not possible to consider to-day's values as well; and whether he will issue instructions that purchases, if any, should not be made above the 1943 or 1939 ceiling, whichever is the lower.

The adoption of the recommendation referred to would not entail purchase at prices above the market value at the time of purchase. The second part of the Question, therefore, does not arise.