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Building Licences

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 12 April 1945

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asked the Minister of Works how many licences have been approved, and how many refused, for the erection of houses by private builders since 26th July, 1945.

Figures are not available for the period from 26th July to the end of that month, but from 1st August to 14th November licences were granted in England and Wales for the erection by private builders of 17,169 houses and refused for 796 houses. The latest available figures for Scotland relate to the period from 1st August to 31st October, during which licences were granted for 134 houses and refused in not more than 10 cases.

asked the Minister of Works whether he is aware that the average time for obtaining a decision about a building licence is in the vicinity of two months; and whether, in order to expedite procedure, he will eliminate all committee work regarding such licences and allow various responsible officials to approve or disapprove a licence on receipt.

Building licences are issued by Regional Officers of my Department and also by local authorities acting on my behalf. The average time taken by Ministry of Works Regional Officers to dispose of licence applications is less than 12 days. While precise information as to the time taken by local authorities is not readily available, it can certainly be stated that the average is very much less than a period of two months.