Approval was given in September, 1958, for the generating station now being built at Blyth. My right hon. Friend has not yet received an application for consent to a further station in the North-East.
Has the right hon. Gentleman been in consultation with the Durham Division of the National Coal Board? Does he not feel that his Department has special responsibility to the mining industry in the North-East, particularly in Durham? Will he undertake to consider the matter very carefully in consultation with the Board?
It must be remembered that Blyth B, to which the consent of September 1958 referred, is a very large station with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts. The first generating set will come into service in 1962, and the last probably in 1965. It will employ a peak labour force during construction of 2,000 men. Moreover, Blyth A, a station of 480 megawatts, was completed as recently as June 1960.