§ MR. CLAUDE HAY () Shoreditch, Hoxton
To ask the hon. Member for North Hunts., as representing the First Commissioner of Works, whether he is aware that the Hampton Urban District Council applied to the Office of Works in the first instance to concede a portion of Bushey Park; that the intimation of the park lands being granted to the London United Tramways Company, in consideration for other lands owned by the Company, was first conveyed to the Hampton Urban District Council by an official of the Office of Works asking the approval of the Hampton Urban District Council to the arrangement; that land on the opposite side could have been purchased by the Tramway Company whereby the loss of part of Bushey Park could have been avoided; and, seeing that the trees in the portion of Bushey Park which is to be surrendered are of more value than those on the ground of the Tramway Company to be given in exchange, and that a large proportion of the trees on the ground now owned by the Tramway Company, and to be made over by them to the public, are dead, will he state what action he proposes to take.
(Answered by Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.) (1) No; the Hampton Urban District Council did not make such an application. (2) No land is to be granted to the London United Tramways Company. The First Commissioner has already stated this twice in reply to Questions. The Company and the District Council were informed that this Board would not approve of adding any part of the park to the public roadway simply at the instance of the Company, but only at the special request of the District Council, as a public improvement. (3) This is the third Question in which the suggestion is conveyed that this public improvement 237 should be effected by the Tramways Company being compelled to purchase the property opposite to the park on the river bank. Such a widening of the road would necessarily seriously diminish the size and impair the beauty of the public garden which has been there formed by the District Council with admirable public spirit. The only advantage would be, apparently, to enable the owner of any residence on that side of the road to dispose of his property to the Company if he dislikes the coming of the tramway. (4) The question of the trees has already been carefully considered. The trees on the ground to be added to the park are fully equal in value to those to be thrown into the roadway or removed. Several of the latter are dead or decaying, and would have been removed soon in any event. Some will be transplanted. (5) This is not the fact.