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Central Lancashire New Town

Volume 885: debated on Wednesday 5 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what provision is to be made in the Central Lancashire New Town in respect of hospitals, doctors, dentists and social workers; and whether these provisions reflect estimated population increases by 1986.

Proposals for the provision of health and social services for the estimated future population of Central Lancashire New Town are described in the development corporation's outline plan, recently the subject of a public inquiry. The inspector's report on the inquiry is awaited and it will be some time before final decisions are reached.

What advice was given to the development corporation about the planning of these facilities in line with the Skeffington Report? Were any recommendations made to the corporation about consulting people and organisations in the area with regard to the supply of these facilities?

The proposals in the outline plan are based on discussions with the corporation and also with authorities having responsibility for the provision of these services. Those discussions are of a continuing nature, because obviously as time passes the aspect may change. We try to mirror that, because my Department holds informal consultations with the appropriate Departments so that we have a full and continuing picture and the various priorities can be kept in step.

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us now whether his announcement last year of the increase in the percentage of rented houses that he is to apply to all new towns up to a total of 75 per cent. is to apply to the Central Lancashire New Town?

I should not have thought that that question arose out of the Question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Preston, South (Mr. Thorne), but if the House will grant me some indulgence I will say that the hon. and learned Gentleman should carefully consider what I have said. He will see it fairly clearly stated, I hope, in the consultation document on new towns and he will see that the basis is not a fixed proportion but that we shall eliminate as soon as possible the waiting list in new towns, particularly for second generation families, and that in doing so inevitably we will give greater weight to rented accommodation, which is needed in the new towns, than to houses for sale.