Town and Country Planning (Interim Development) Bill

Part of Ways and Means – in the House of Commons on 25th May 1943.

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Photo of Mr Christopher York Mr Christopher York , Ripon

I am heartily in agreement with what my hon. Friends have said on this subject, but my hon. Friend who has just sat down has brought up a point upon which I also would like an assurance from the Minister. Although it would appear from the Clauses generally that the Minister has the power to regulate a matter of this kind, I do not see how he can insist upon local authorities doing the work which has been suggested without taking upon himself some central authority. That is the point which he knows very well is disturbing many of us, namely, the relationship between the central authority which is to be the directing force and the local authorities who are to carry out the work. There is a word of warning to be said on the Amendment. I agree that the wording is perhaps not right, but we must not come to regard green belts as public parks. In those green belts are to be performed acts of cultivation which cannot be properly performed if the townspeople are continuously trespassing upon and looking about various fields full of corn, and so on. Those fields may also contain stock, and in particular T.T. milk herds. The warning ought to be given in regard to this idea of a five-mile belt that the belt cannot be regarded as a playground of the towns on either side. A further warning is that we ought not to try to make concentric ring around towns the limitations which may be imposed by an Amendment of this sort, otherwise there would be one ring after another till the town, instead of being limited, would be extended still further.