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Council Housing Estates

Volume 891: debated on Monday 28 April 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, in order to improve appearance and ensure continuity, he will issue a circular advising local authorities to infill sites on existing council housing estates in preference to building new estates.

Infilling on existing council estates can produce useful gains in housing provision, particularly for smaller households. I drew attention to this as one way of supplementing local authority housing programmes in Circular 24/75, "Housing: Needs and Action", which was sent to local authorities on 25th March.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, in order to create more balanced developments, he will issue a circular to local authorities advising them to provide bungalow type aged persons' accommodation adjacent to existing dwellings with caretaker accommodation.

More housing needs to be provided which is suitable for old people, including where appropriate the type of accommodation referred to by the hon. Member. My Department will take his suggestion into account in the report I have asked it to do on various aspects of the housing situation of old people.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will make it his policy not to grant planning permission unless local authorities, when designing new council estates, include within them a number of different types of housing in various neighbourhoods so as to keep a genuine mixture of housing requirements for different needs;(2) if he will make it his policy not to grant planning permission to those local authorities who build council estates consisting of long runs of prefabricated concrete slab blocks of regimented bleakness; and if he will so inform local authorities.

Planning permission for local authority development is generally deemed to be given under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations (SI 1974 No. 596) following a resolution by the local authority to carry out the development. Guidance has been given by the Department in its design bulletins about the importance of catering for special needs and the design of local authority dwellings.