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Private Building (Ratio)

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 14 April 1949

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asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that there are private builders with labour and materials available ready and willing to build houses cheaper and quicker than local authorities, but they cannot obtain the permits; and if he will now alter the ratio of private building allowed.

No, Sir. Builders who are willing and able to build houses should be able to do so for private owners possessing building licences, for local authorities under contract or for local authorities under special arrangements set out in the circular of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy.

Is the Minister aware that the firm about which I am thinking has the plant and the men and can build houses up to the standard required by the Government in a very short time and do it £100 cheaper than the local authorities can do it? Yet the firm is not allowed to do this because of the absurd ratio.

The hon. Member is in error. The Girdwood Committee could not find any evidence that private building was cheaper than building by local authorities.

But I have given the Minister evidence. He has had letter after letter.

If the hon. Member has evidence, I should advise him to send it to the committee.

Is it not the case that the firm can build these houses if it is willing to sell them to the local authority for letting to people on the priority lists?

I have already explained that the local authorities have power under the circular I have sent them to enable local private builders to build houses for sale to local authorities.