asked the Minister of Health if he will state, as at the most recent convenient date and with regard to England and Wales, the number of sites approved for permanent local authority houses, in addition to those stated in Cmd. 6686 to have been approved for temporary houses; and the number of such sites that have been acquired.
By 30th September, 1945, local authorities in England and Wales had received approval to the acquisition for permanent houses of sites totalling 67,900 acres, of which 32,200 acres had been acquired. At a average density of 10 houses to the acre, these sites would be sufficient for 679,000 and 322,000 houses respectively.
Is it not clear that whatever the difficulties at the moment shortage of land is not one of them?
I cannot agree that these figures would necessarily give rise to that conclusion, because the acquisition is not uniformly spread. A large number of local authorities possess land far in excess of their immediate housing possibilities, and a large number have no land at all, so I do not think the hon. and gallant Member would be wise in anticipating the Debate on this subject.
Can my right hon Friend say what was paid for these 32,000 acres, if I put a Question on the Order Paper?
I will certainly answer my hon. Friend if the figures are available.
Can the Minister indicate what percentage of these sites have been serviced?
That is entirely outside this question.
Can the Minister divide the figure given to the House today as between the different parts of England and Wales, as was done in the White Paper on Temporary Housing?
Certainly, if the hon. and gallant Member will put down a question I will see what can be done.
asked the Minister of Health if he will state, as at the most recent convenient date and with regard to England and Wales, the number of local authority houses for which plans have been approved; and the number of such houses for which tenders have been approved.
Plans are often approved before the exact number of houses to be built has been determined and, therefore, I am unable to give the information asked for in the first part of the Question; by 20th October prices had been approved for 11,198 houses in England and Wales.
asked the Minister of Health if he will state, as at the most recent convenient date and with regard to England and Wales, the average, highest and lowest, of the approved tenders for local authority houses per superficial foot; and the average of approved tenders for such houses per superficial foot in 1938.
In the period of four weeks to 20th October, the approved tenders for local authority three-bedroomed non-parlour houses have averaged 20s. 11d. per superficial foot. The average cost per superficial foot in 1938 was 9s. 3¼d. When comparing these figures, allowance has to be made not only for the substantial increase in building costs, but also for the fact that a higher standard of accommodation and amenity is afforded in the houses now being approved. I do not think it would be helpful to state the full range of the approved tenders, as it would not be possible within the limits of the reply to give the reasons which account for variations from the average.