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Volume 530: debated on Tuesday 20 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government why his Department has limited the building programme of the Hornchurch Urban Disttrict Council to 124 houses during the present housing year.

This council has always been hampered by shortage of developed sites. This difficulty is now being partially overcome. They were given authority for an additional 74 houses and flats on 5th July.

Is not the Minister aware that when there was a Labour administration, as there is now again, in Horn-church, no fewer than 500 to 600 houses for letting were built every year, and that the council is prepared to put up that number, that sites are fully developed with roads for this purpose, and that his Department obstinately refuses to grant them any licence while 600 to 700 private houses are in the course of erection?

I understand that the difficulty was that of obtaining developed sites.

If I can show the Minister that developed sites are available, will he receive a deputation from the council which will bring plans and show him exactly where sewers and roads have already been laid?

I should be happy to receive a deputation whether it can show me that or not.

Can the right hon. Gentleman answer the important point made by my hon. and learned Friend? Private enterprise has been given its head to an ex tent that the local authority has not. Will he say why he is specially favouring private enterprise and here, as with Lambeth, bringing his hand down and cutting the local authority?

The circumstances vary in each locality. I can only remind the right hon. Gentleman that both houses to let and houses for private occupation are much larger in number now than they have ever been under his Administration.

Surely the right hon. Gentleman ought to tell the House in truth that this is the smallest allocation of houses ever allowed to the Hornchurch Urban District Council, and that they have built far more houses than this in any year except the last year when he himself said that: the Conservative Administration were prevented by purely local considerations from building more?

The hon. and learned Gentleman had better give this information to the deputation.


asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether, in view of the limitation of licences for new building imposed by him on the Hornchurch Urban District Council, he will reconsider his decision to require the council to return all requisitioned property by the end of October.

I have allowed the council until the end of next January to terminate the requisitions they hold. They have assured me that they should be able to do this.

Will the right hon. Gentleman say, first, whether it was the old Conservative council or the new Labour one that told him this? Secondly, does the right hon. Gentleman realise that every one of the houses he has licensed them to build would not be enough to house the people who would be turned out of the derequisitioned houses, let alone to house any of the 2,000 or so families on the housing list?

My information is that there are about 90 families in requisitioned properties.