asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware of the unsatisfactory nature of peripheral overspill as a solution to Manchester's housing problem; and if he will give an undertaking that Manchester's future requirements beyond the present phase will be dealt with by way of new towns.
I quite agree that unlimited peripheral development is not a satisfactory way of meeting Manchester's overspill needs. I have, however, already proposed two new developments under the New Towns Acts to help Manchester and its neighbours. If these proposals and other schemes planned by the city council are put into effect, the overspill requirements should be met for some time to come.
May I have a firm answer to at any rate one of my two questions? Will the right hon. Gentleman say that peripheral development as a means of catering for the future problems of Manchester is not to be considered?
It would be impossible to give an assurance to the hon. Member that no kind of peripheral development will be allowed in the next 20 years. I should like to say that, but it is impossible to prevent things these days. I believe that it is wrong to plan in terms of close satellite towns or the mere spreading of the conurbation. That is why we have announced the Leyland-Chorley decision which is well away. Manchester, from this point of view, has not been very well treated, because the two positive proposals are not ideally situated there. In a sense they are semi-peripheral and are not very satisfactory but they were the best that could be found, and one of them was of Manchester's own selection.
Will my right hon. Friend take note of the fact that many people in Manchester and Salford would still like peripheral development, particularly in Cheshire, where there is still a possibility of a site for a new town within reach of Manchester and in an area which is easily capable of development?