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Slaughterhouse, Penzance

Volume 530: debated on Tuesday 13 July 1954

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35.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government why planning approval was given to the Old Workhouse at Madron, Penzance, being used as a slaughterhouse.

The responsibility for granting planning permission rests with the Cornwall County Council as local planning authority.

As this is a matter of more than local importance and is an example of the major policy of the Government in regard to slaughterhouses, will the Minister give guidance to planning authorities so that when the ultimate policy of moderate concentration of slaughterhouses is put into effect these abominable places will not again be licensed?

I am bound to say that the actual question of the planning decision did not come to my right hon. Friend. It is eminently a matter for local decision, and it was made by the local county council after it had taken everyone into consultation.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that in the recent debate on slaughterhouses the hon. Member for Falmouth and Camborne (Mr. Hayman) referred to muddle between the Ministry of Food and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government? In view of my hon. Friend's answer, is it not really the case that this muddle exists in the mind of the hon. Member and that his interference—or perhaps I should say intervention—should be addressed to the county council?

As the Ministry of Food is encouraging the opening of these slaughterhouses which are hopelessly out of date, and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government says that it is the responsibility of the authority, should not that Ministry instruct the local authorities that these slaughterhouses when hopelessly out of date ought not to be reopened?

The local planning authorities, as distinct from the local authorities, have had sufficient guidance on the principles which they should observe in planning.

May I ask the Minister to take into account the fact that the villagers concerned protested almost unanimously against this licensing?

There again I am bound to say that the West Penwith Rural District Council by majority decided to support the issue of a licence.