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New Towns

Volume 885: debated on Thursday 30 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment which policy changes in the consultation paper "New Towns in England and Wales" have already been imposed by Her Majesty's Government on new towns in advance of consultation, other than his ban on the sales of new town houses built for rent; under what powers; when the decision was communicated to the New Towns Act 1965.

The procedure whereby the Secretary of State issues informal advice to development corporations and the commission stems from the power of direction contained in Section 4 of the New Towns Act 1965.In order not to prejudice the outcome of a general review of new town policy which I put in hand on taking office in March 1974, new town development corporations in England and the Commission for the New Towns were asked first in a letter of 29th March 1974 not to enter into further commitments to disposal of land for private sector commercial and industrial development freehold, and secondly in a letter of 25th April not to enter into further commitments to dispose of housing land to the private sector without obtaining the agreement of the Secretary of State. In a circular issued on 5th September 1974, the same authorities were advised, inter alia and still pending the outcome of the policy review, that the Secretary of State would not normally give approval to the freehold sale of land in their ownership to private housebuilders or for private sector commercial and industrial development, and that in the immediate future emphasis should be placed on meeting the demand for rented housing.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total amount of the needs element in the rate support grant allocated for the West Lancashire District Council for 1975–76 and the percentage increase in 1974–75.

In a non-metropolitan county the needs element of the rate support grant is paid to the county council; it is not allocated to districts. Lancashire's initial 1975–76 needs element entitlement is £73·9 million, which is 50 per cent. higher than its original 1974–75 entitlement.