HC Deb 14 March 1983 vol 39 cc45-6W
Mr. Wheeler

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what approaches have been made to him about relocating Temple Bar; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. King

Temple Bar was removed from its former situation in London when roads were widened in 1877. It is now in private ownership and located in Hertfordshire. It is a scheduled ancient monument. The Temple Bar Trust was formed privately in 1976 with the object of securing the return of the structure to London. I understand that outline permission was given in 1979 by the local planning authority for a site in St. Paul's churchyard. Moving the structure would also require scheduled monument consent from me under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

The chairman of the Temple Bar Trust approached my predecessor in 1981 with a request for grant-aid for the removal. Professional advice is that the structure could survive being dismantled, moved and re-erected, and that it will deteriorate if it stays where it is.

The request for grant has been discussed with the trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. It was agreed that if, the move were to take place, provided the Temple Bar Trust could secure a sufficient proportion of private donations, my Department and NHMF would match those donations in the following way. If the total cost of the move proved to be less than £1 million, the DOE and NHMF would each contribute one-quarter of the cost. If the total were more than £1 million, the DOE and NHMF would contribute £¼ million each. This offer was, and all previous discussion with the Temple Bar Trust has been, subject to its securing any necessary consents, and subject to any statutory or quasi-judicial procedures with which the Secretary of State might have to comply. The application for Scheduled Monument Consent will be considered on its merits.