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Holiday Camp Project (Stansgate)

Volume 640: debated on Tuesday 9 May 1961

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32.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is aware of the projected holiday camp development at Stansgate, Essex, and of the threat that it represents to the amenities of the Blackwater estuary; and if he will take steps to protect this hitherto relatively unspoiled coast from such development.

My right hon. Friend understands that the local planning authority has such a proposal under consideration. He has no doubt that it will have due regard to its effect upon amenity, and since it would involve a substantial departure from the development plan, that it would not grant permission without consulting him.

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether, when that consultation takes place, the Minister will bear in mind that besides this project there are a number of applications for caravan sites in the neighbourhood, and that there is a serious risk that this unspoiled stretch of river quite near London will be turned into just a swarming shanty-town unless he does something about it?

I must be careful, since this may come to my right hon. Friend for decision, but my right hon. Friend would not be likely to give consent for this without a public inquiry.

Is my hon. Friend aware of the concern there is about the amenities of the countryside in other parts of Essex as well? Is he in touch with the Civic Trust in such matters? It seems that the Trust's advice should be sought about a great deal of the development at present taking place in the countryside.

My right hon. Friend's status has to be preserved because of his appeal jurisdiction and, of course, such amenity interests can be represented at inquiries.

As this area is in my constituency, can my hon. Friend look very carefully at the whole planning position? We have the Central Electricity Authority taking one line, and barring planning in one area, and now we have this other problem in the coastal areas.