The Government agree with the Covent Garden Market Authority's recommendation that both the fruit and vegetable market and the flower market should be moved to a site at Nine Elms, although the precise area to be acquired and the form of construction must remain for further consideration. I have told the Authority that it would be reasonable for them to proceed with the drafting of the Private Bill that will be necessary. The Authority will be working towards the opening of the new market by a date not later than 1971.
Yes—I think it was 1969, but my hon. Friend may be right. The answer is that this will need to be incorporated in legislation. This site was decided upon after long thought and deliberation by the Market Authority and the Government as the best one for this market. It would not begin to become available until 1966, and much of it would not become available until the years following that, so it could not be until 1971 if we put the market on this site, which seems to be the best site available.
It was said during the course of the passage of the Bill through the House that if the Market Authority which we set up—which alone could judge all these factors—in the course of deliberations thought the market would be better moved elsewhere, we would not stand in the way of the Authority in promoting a Private Bill.