§ Mr. Grey
asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning if he is aware that the proposal of the North Eastern Electric Supply Company, to erect a power station at Kepier, in Durham, had the support of all the local authorities and was only opposed by a minority; upon what authority he is delaying his consent to the proposed scheme; what independent investigations his department conducted in respect of the proposal; and, as the scheme is vital to the well being of the County of Durham, will he reconsider his position with a view to issuing permission for the proposed development.
§ Mr. Silkin
After very full consideration of all the representations made regarding these proposals, including the views of the local authorities, and investigation of their effects and possible alternatives, my predecessor found them open to objection on planning grounds and decided, in consultation with the Minister of Fuel and Power, that if the occasion arose he would on these grounds feel bound to refuse his consent to them. The company have since informed me that in an endeavour102W to mitigate the effects of the delay which has taken place in this matter, they already have taken steps to meet the present demand for additional electric supply by the installation of plant elsewhere than at Kepier. In these circumstances, the question of a decision on the original proposals does not now arise, but I am satisfied that if it did, the well-being of the County of Durham would not be materially affected by the provision of additional supplies of electricity on this site rather than elsewhere in the county.