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Applications Served on New Town Development Corporations

Part of Orders of the Day — Housing (Scotland) Bill – in the House of Commons at 11:15 pm on 29th March 1988.

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Photo of Lord James Douglas-Hamilton Lord James Douglas-Hamilton , Edinburgh West 11:15 pm, 29th March 1988

We have not ruled out any possible role for local authorities, and there will be a full review and full consultations in due course.

Opposition Members seek in the new clauses and amendments to introduce prematurely a policy not of choice but of coercion. New clause 13 would require a development corporation to transfer to the local authority all the housing stock that it owns. What happens to those who do not wish to transfer to the local authority? It is not enough to say that they should have exercised their right to buy or right to transfer in advance of wind-up, because not every tenant will have been able to put his choice into practice in that way. The amendments are concerned purely with satisfying the local authorities' hunger for a guaranteed inheritance, and we believe that tenants' wishes should be taken into account more fully.

I remind hon. Members that no new town will begin to be wound up until 1990 at the earliest. Before then there will be consultation about the wind-up arrangements, including those for housing transfer, and there will be an opportunity for further debate in the House. The amendments would pre-empt that review and debate and would force upon new town tenants a solution that the Government regard as unacceptable.