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Acquisition Of Land

Volume 413: debated on Thursday 23 August 1945

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asked the Minister of Health whether, where there is a shortage of available land for temporary and/or permanent housing schemes, he will take the necessary steps to enable local authorities to enter into and take possession, by permanent acquisition or otherwise, of land owned by statutory undertakers but which is not required for the essential purposes of their undertaking.

This point, which would require legislation, will be considered in connection with the general proposals for the acquisition of land which the Government will in due course place before Parliament.

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that local authorities are being pressed by his Ministry to take leases of 10 to 12 years duration rather than the freehold of land for temporary dwellings, and if, as expenditure of public funds on roads, sewers, gas, electricity and water services would be lost and handed over to the lessor upon the expiry of the lease, he will take steps to secure that land for temporary dwellings be per- manently acquired and after use as such, be utilised for permanent housing or other purposes in accordance with the needs of the local authority concerned.

Yes, Sir. Local authorities are encouraged to take this course where the land to be used for temporary dwellings is unsuitable for permanent housing or other municipal purposes and no substantial expenditure is involved on roads or public services. I therefore see no reason to alter the practice.