asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many houses built for private sale by the Cwmbran Development Corporation are now standing empty at Cwmbran New Town; what contracts are at present in existence for further houses for sale: whether he is aware of concern that the financial burden of servicing the capital deployed in the building of these empty houses falls upon the rents of Cwmbran New Town tenants; and what action is being taken to dispose of these houses and decelerate further building of houses for sale.
Twenty-seven houses built by the corporation for private sale are vacant at present, but four have been reserved and negotiations are in progress for the sale of another four. The corporation has contracted for another eight houses specifically for sale. No part of the cost of houses built for sale falls upon rents of new town tenants. The corporation has advertised these houses and has engaged the services of private estate agents to help in selling them and no further tenders for houses for sale will be approved until existing vacant houses are sold.
My hon. Friend does not appear to have answered that part of my Question which asks what contracts are at present in existence for further houses for sale Mr. Davies: I did answer the Question about houses for sale, which was the point of the Question, and I said that there were contracts for another eight. I can also inform my hon. Friend about discussions we have had about certain high-priced houses. The corporation has been asked to defer putting these dwellings into contract until the housing situation at Cwmbran has been cleared up.
Yes, Sir. My right hon. Friend is not satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to warrant fixing a higher population target for the new town at present, but he has arranged for a further study by the corporation and the local planning authority of the longer term possibilities.
Will my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary consider whether in view of the existing situation and what appear to be the present trends there is necessity to have greater phasing towards any target growth which perhaps up to the present may have been considered necessary?
I can assure my hon. Friend that the question of future population growth has been reviewed and the size of Cwmbran New Town will depend on the study which has now been arranged.
Does my hon. Friend appreciate that as the eventual target of the new town is pushed further ahead the hopes of local people for the democratisation of the new town recede, and local people are very much anticipating the results of the legislation promised by my right hon. Friend the Minister?