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House Sales (New Towns)

Volume 885: debated on Thursday 30 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment under what powers he has banned, without his prior approval, the further sale of new town houses built for rent; in what form his decision has been commmunicated to the new town authorities; and on what date.

Development corporations were requested in a letter to general managers dated 25th April 1974 not to sell rented dwellings except where they were under a legal obligation to do so or where they had obtained my right hon. Friend's prior approval. Section 4 of the New Towns Act 1965 enables him to give directions to any development corporation restricting the exercise by it of any of its powers under the Act or requiring it to exercise those powers in any manner specified. The letter made it clear that the request formed part of an interim procedure pending a review of new town policy, and he did not think it necessary to invoke formal powers.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will list, for each English new town, the total number of dwellings sold that had originally been built for rent up to 30th September 1974.

The information requested is as follows:

Central Lancs
Hemel Hempstead1,892
Milton Keynes238
Welwyn Garden City885

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment under what criteria he will be prepared to approve the sale of new town houses originally built for rent.

The criteria to be adopted will depend in the long run on the outcome of the discussions on the consultation document "New Towns in England and Wales". Meanwhile, in considering whether to give approval in a particular case, I shall have in mind particularly the level of demand for rented housing in the town in question and whatever exceptional circumstances may be adduced.