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Building Land

Volume 79: debated on Monday 20 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales what conclusions he has reached in relation to the recently published studies by the Land Authority for Wales on the availability of building land in South Glamorgan and in West Glamorgan; and what steps he now intends to take.

. The publication of the two studies marks a successful start for the new system of housing land availability assessments introduced in the Welsh Office circular 47/84. My officials are now studying the two documents and will be discussing the findings with the Land Authority for Wales.

As the studies of the Land Authority for Wales seem to substantiate the complaints of the House-Builders Federation and other builders' organisations, does my hon. Friend consider that those complaints of shortages of available building land are without foundation, or with considerable foundation ?

The land availability studies are a great step forward in getting the balance right. The land authority conducts them in conjunction with the local authorities and builders. I am sure that a better balance can be achieved by that method.

Will the Minister be wary of special pleading in this area in favour of building on green field sites ? Will he try to ensure that wherever practicable existing sites in older industrial areas are built on ?

There is no doubt about our commitment in that respect. We wish to conserve. We have a good example in the redevelopment of south Cardiff, and I pay tribute to the redevelopment that is taking place in Swansea.