Household Projections

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:51 pm on 25th November 1996.

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Photo of Mr David Howell Mr David Howell , Guildford 4:51 pm, 25th November 1996

My right hon. Friend's proposal for a fresh debate is extremely welcome, although he will not get much help from the Labour party. Does he accept that there is widespread concern about the household projections and the way in which they are formulated, and that there is even more concern about the huge figures for housing plans that are proposed in various shire county structures, including Surrey?

Does he accept that such figures seem to assume and accommodate certain social trends, which we, as responsible Members of Parliament, may not wish to accommodate, and may want to alter in future? They seem to assume and accommodate large migration, particularly to the south and the south-east, of the kind that may not be in the interest of the north, the south or the nation.

Will my right hon. Friend consider that again before he is quite so definite about having to accept down to the last 100,000, or whatever, those enormous household projections? Will he very much endorse what he hinted at earlier—that, where planning authorities have brown land and want to build on it, they will be given powers to do so, so that the momentum of developers to go straight on to agricultural land is checked?