asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what proposals there are for providing new houses in the London borough of Wandsworth by redevelopment of existing residential areas; and how many houses he expects can be provided by these means in the next four years.
Under the four-year housing programme for Greater London which my right hon. Friend approved last September, schemes for about 4,750 new local authority dwellings will be started in Wandsworth, 3,550 by the borough council and 1,200 by the Greater London Council. Practically all these will involve redevelopment. His approval to the programme is, of course, without prejudice to any decisions he may have to make on compulsory purchase orders submitted to him by either of these authorities. It is not possible to give comparable figures for private enterprise housebuilding.
Is the Minister aware of the chronic shortage of housing land for rebuilding in Clapham? Would the Minister encourage local authorities to demolish deteriorating properties of which there are so many in Clapham, in order to provide land for new and better housing?
Wandsworth Council is a very progressive council and I have reason to believe that it will not only reach these targets but exceed them. With regard to the point made about deteriorating property, I hope that Wandsworth, like other authorities, will first of all look to see whether some improvements can be made to properties rather than demolishing them.