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Post-War Housing

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 17 March 1943

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asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning when he is going to announce the overriding regulations enabling local authorities to decide on the area of land required to satisfy their post-war housing needs, particularly in relation to treatment of large slum areas and bombed sites?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Town and Country Planning
(Mr. Henry Strauss)

The Government have already announced their acceptance of the recommendation of the Uthwatt Committee that planning authorities should be given power to acquire war damaged and other reconstruction areas as a whole. I am not clear what overriding regulations the hon. Member has in mind, but my right hon. Friend will give guidance and advice to planning authorities through his planning officers and otherwise.

Will my hon. Friend explain how many houses to the acre are going to be allowed in future, so that the local authorities can decide how many sites they have to get to carry out the Minister's recommendations?

The hon. Member received an answer from the Leader of the House last week.


asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning when he will be in a position to announce the Government's provisional proposals with regard to the stabilisation or otherwise of land values so that local authorities can intelligently carry out the Minister of Health's request to begin acquiring land as sites for post-war housing?

The Government are considering, together with other recommendations of the Uthwatt Committee, the detailed application of the principle that compensation payable in respect of the public acquisition or control of land should not exceed sums based on the standard of values at 31st March, 1939, but I am unable to say when legislation will be introduced. There is in the opinion of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health nothing to prevent local authorities intelligently carrying out his request.

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that local authorities can purchase the land they need at any price by mutual agreement?

If my hon. Friend wishes to raise any question on the statement of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health he will no doubt direct his question to that Department. I was only concerned with denying the implication in my hon. Friend's Question.

Arising out of the terms of the Question, does the Minister agree that the value of land is the one thing you cannot possibly stabilise?