asked the Secretary of State for Scotland why the Department of Health refused permission to the Irvine Town Council to proceed with a scheme of 112 houses to relieve overcrowding at a feu duty of 1s. 1½d. per pole as being too high; and whether he is aware that the burgh of Irvine feus land for building to private enterprise builders at 1s. 6d. per pole?
The Department of Health have refused to approve a proposal by the Irvine Town Council to feu 10 acres of land at Springbank Farm for a housing site at the rate of £10 per acre as they are advised that this rate is excessive and that a fair rate of feu duty for the area is £3 5s. 6d. per acre. Representations made by the town council to the Department in support of their proposal are now being considered by the Valuation Office of the Inland Revenue who act as the Department's advisers in these matters. I am aware that the town council have feued land for building to private enterprise builders at 1s. 6d. per pole but I understand that the feus in question were in small lots and situated in a better area.
In view of the fact that the Department has refused to meet the officials of the town council, will the hon. Gentleman go into this matter again with special reference to the fact that the town desires to meet the possibility of industry further leaving the district, and, in order to cope with this possibility, wants to build on the sea side of the river so as to foster the district as a seaside resort as an offset against any industrial loss?