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Clause 69—(Existing Development Contravening Previous Planning Control)

Volume 437: debated on Monday 12 May 1947

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

I beg to move, in page 74, line 20, at the end, to insert:

"(c) where the works were carried out or the use begun either by or on behalf of the Crown or of a local authority, or by the direction of the Crown or of a local authority, any person who carries out any works in compliance with an enforcement notice in respect thereto shall be entitled, on a claim made to the local planning authority within the time and in the manner prescribed by regulations under this Act, to recover from the local plan- ning authority compensation in respect of any expenses reasonably incurred by him in that behalf."
This Amendment is a good deal less controversial than the Amendment I moved earlier this afternoon and, in the absence of the Lord President of the Council from the Chamber, I think it unlikely to provoke any heat on the other side of the Committee. It is in fact largely an exploratory Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that a similar Amendment was moved in the Standing Committee. The intention is to protect owners of land from financial loss incurred in removing non-conforming structures erected on their land at the behest of the Crown or local authorities. I think I am not misrepresenting the right hon. Gentleman when I say that he acquiesced in the principle behind this Amendment, but gave it as his view that the principle we seek to establish is already based in the existing law in the Compensation Defence Act, 1939, and in Section 10 of the Requisitioned Land and War Works Act of 1945.

The question arose as to whether the provisions of those two Acts were perhaps too narrowly restricted to the circumstances of the war to meet the larger purposes which we have in mind. When the Amendment was moved in Standing Committee, it was not pressed because we were anxious to give the Minister time to consider whether the point we have in mind, and which is expressed in the language of the Amendment, is wholly covered by the provisions of those two Statutes. By now, the Minister will have had time to take such counsel as he deemed proper, and we shall be glad to hear his views on the points to which I have given expression.

The hon. Member is quite right. This matter was discussed in Committee, and an Amendment on similar lines was withdrawn on my promise to examine the matter. I have examined it, and, in this case, I remain of the opinion that I held when the Amendment was moved in Standing Committee. I think that in all proper cases there is statutory provision for payment of compensation, particularly under the two Acts to which reference has been made.

6.0 p.m.

There is a residuum of cases where no statutory provision is made for compensation, and I see no particular reason why provision should be made in this Bill. The law does not provide in every case that where a nonconforming user is removed compensation shall be paid, and the cases contemplated in the Amendment, other than those already provided for, generally seem to me to be appropriate for the payment of compensation. There is one other point, and that is that compensation under the Amendment would be paid by the local authority. It seems to me quite wrong that the local authority should have to bear this cost. I suppose a common case would be that in respect of an order for the removal of air-raid shelters. The question is whether the owner should bear the cost of the removal or whether the local authority should bear that cost. It seems to me quite equitable to call upon the owner to bear the cost of the removal of the shelter. So, as a result of further consideration I think there is no particular reason why the cost of removal should be met out of public funds. Therefore, I regret that I am unable to accept the Amendment.

Would the Minister say if, in the case of air-raid shelter cases which he quoted, he would be of the same opinion if the owner in question had preferred to retain the air raid shelter had he not been directed to remove it? Would he not think it equitable for the local authority to pay the cost in that case rather than the owner of the land?

Yes, I should be of the same view. The air raid shelter was put up for a specific purpose and if on planning grounds the local authority requires it to be removed, it should be removed.

I hope that the Minister will give this further consideration. I remember the discussion upstairs which the Minister has correctly summarised, but I am by no means certain that all the points are covered by existing Statutes. I would ask the Committee to look at the background. Clause 69 deals with existing development which contravenes the provisions of planning control, and, in effect, gives a sanction to the planning authority by means of an enforcement notice served upon the owner to remove an offending structure. Such a structure might be of several sorts or of different kinds while different expense might be involved in destroying it. During the war it was necessary, for a number of defence purposes, for owners in the interests of the country to carry out the wishes of some Government Department, and erect upon their land structures which were in defiance of planning control. Parliament has made some attempt to remedy this matter by a special Act of Parliament which is referred to in this Bill—namely, the Building Restrictions (War-Time Contraventions) Act, 1946, under which it is possible for the sin to be condoned—for the offending structure to be legalised by a later ceremony. But the position still remains, in my judgment, that under this Bill, which does give power to serve an enforcement notice, a man might be given an enforcement notice telling him, maybe, to dig up a mile of runway, which is a very common disfigurement of some of our land at the present time. I feel that we should not part with the power we are

Division No. 201].


[6.7 p.m.

Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.Grimston, R. V.Orr-Ewing, I. L
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W (Armagh)Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)Peake, Rt. Hon. O
Baldwin, A. E.Hinchingbrooke, ViscountPickthorn, K.
Baxter, A. B.Hogg, Hon. Q.Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. HHoward, Hon, APoole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)
Birch, NigelHulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J.Ramsay, Maj. S.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Jeffreys, General Sir G.Rayner, Brig. R.
Bracken, Rt. Hon. BrendanKendall, W. D.Renton, D.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.Lancaster, Col. C. G.Roberts, Mai. P. G. (Ecclesall)
Bullock, Capt. M.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. HRoberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Butcher, H. W.Lindsay, M. (Solihull)Ross Sir R. D. (Londonderry)
Byers, FrankLinstead, H. N.Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)
Challen, C.Lipson, D. L.Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Channon, H.Low, Brig. A. R. W.Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Clarke Col. R. S.Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.Smithers, Sir W.
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G.Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. OSpearman, A. C. M.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. EMacdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight)Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.
Crowder, Capt. John EMackeson, Brig. H. RStoddart-Scott, Col. M
Cuthbert, W. N.Maclay, Hon. J. S.Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Davidson, ViscountessMacLeod, J.Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Davies, Clement (Montgomery)Macpherson, N. (Dumfries)Studholme, H. G.
De la Bère, R.Maitland, Comdr. J. 'W.Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Dodds-Parker, A. D.Manningham-Buller, R. E.Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)
Duncan, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (City of Lond.)Marlowe, A. A. H.Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Eden, Rt. Hon. A.Marsden, Capt. A.Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Erroll, F. J.Marshall, D. (Bodmin)Vane, W. M. F.
Fletcher, W. (Bury)Marshall, S. H. (Sutton)Walker-Smith, D.
Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone)Mellor, Sir J.Ward, Hon, G. R.
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)Molson, A. H. E.Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Gage, C.Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D.Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)
Gammans, L. DMorrison, Rt. Hon. W S. (C'no'ster)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)Neven-Spence, Sir B.Mr. Drewe and Major Conant
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.


Alexander, Rt. Hon. A VBacon, Miss A.Blyton, W. R.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. JBowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Barstow, P. G.Bowles, F G. (Nuneaton)
Allighan, GarryBarton, C.Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)
Alpass, J. H.Battley, J. R.Braddock, T. (Mitcham)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell)Bechervaise, A. E.Bramall, E. A.
Attewell, H. C.Berry, H.Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)
Austin, H. LewisBeswick, F.Brown, T. J. (Ince)
Awbery, S. S.Bing, G. H. C.Bruce, Major D. W. T
Ayles, W. H.Blackburn, A. R.Buchanan, G.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B.Blenkinsop, A.Burden, T. W.

giving without ensuring in such a case, where the infringement of good planning was not due to wantonness or lack of care for the amenities of the countryside but due to direct obedience to a defence requirement, that there is adequate provision for protecting a man from the consequences of his patriotic act. I feel that purely as a matter of drafting the Amendment we propose would have been happier if it had been in the form of a proviso, "Provided that where work has been done at the behest of the authorities there shall be no charge on the man for restoring it." I am bound to say that, because of the state in which the Minister has left the matter, we should press it to a Division in the hope that it will induce him to look at it again.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 98; Noes, 257.

Burke, W. A.Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)Robens, A.
Callaghan, JamesJones, D. T. (Hartlepools)Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Castle, Mrs. B. A.Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Chamberlain, R. A.Jones, J. H. (Bolton)Rogers, G. H. R.
Champion, A. J.Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)Royle, C.
Chater, D.Keenan, W.Sargood, R.
Chetwynd, G. R.Kenyon, C.Scott-Elliot, W
Clitherow, Dr. R.King, E. MSegal, Dr. S.
Cobb, F. A.Kinky, J.Shackleton, E. A. A
Cocks, F. S.Lang, G.Sharp, Granville
Collindridge, F.Lavers, S.Shawcross, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (St. Helens)
Collins, V. J.Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Colman, Miss G. MLeslie, J. R.Silkin, Rt. Hon. L.
Comyns, Dr. LLevy, B. W.Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G.Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)Simmons, C. J.
Corvedale, ViscountLewis, J. (Bolton)Skeffington, A. M.
Cove, W. G.Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.Skeffington-Lodge, T. C
Crossman, R. H. S.Lyne, A. W.Skinnard, F. W.
Daggar, G.McAdam, W.Smith, C. (Colchester)
Daines, P.McAllister, G.Smith, Ellis (Stoke)
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.McEntee, V. La TSmith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Davies, Edward (Burslem)McGhee, H. G.Snow, Capt. J. W.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield)Mack, J. D.Solley, L. J.
Davies, Harold (Leek)McKay, J. (Wallsend)Sorensen, R. W
Davies, Hadyn (St. Pancras, S.W.)Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)Sparks, J. A.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)McLeavy, F.Stamford, W.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)Stephen, C.
Deer, G.Macpherson, T. (Romford)Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Diamond, J.Mainwaring, W. H.Stross, Dr. B.
Dodds, N. N.Mallalieu, J. P. W.Stubbs, A. E.
Donovan, TManning, C. (Camberwell, N.)Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Driberg, T. E. N.Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)Swingle, S.
Dumpleton, C. W.Marshall, F. (Brightside)Sylvester, G. O
Dye, S.Medland, H. M.Symonds, A. L.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.Mellish, R. J.Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Edelman, M.Messer, F.Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Evans, E. (Lowestoft)Middleton, Mrs. L.Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Evans, John (Ogmore)Millington, Wing-Comdr E. RThorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Farthing, W. J.Mitchison, G. RThurtle, Ernest
Field, Capt. W. JMontague, F.Tiffany, S.
Fletcher, E. G. M (Islington, E.)Moody, A. S.Titterington, M. F
Foot, M. MMorrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, E.)Tolley, L.
Gaitskell, H. T. N.Moyle, A.Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.
Ganley, Mrs. C. S.Nally, W.Turner-Samuels, M.
Glanville, J. E. (Consett)Naylor, T. EUngoed-Thomas, L.
Goodrich, H. E.Neal, H. (Claycross)Vernon, Maj. W. F
Gordon-Walker, P. C.Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)Viant, S. P.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield)Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)Walker, G. H.
Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Grenfell, D. R.Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. (Derby)Warbey, W. N.
Grey, C. F.Noel-Buxton, LadyWeitzman, D.
Grierson, EOliver, G. H.Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)Paget, R. T.West, D. G.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Haire, John E. (Wycombe)Palmer, A. M. FWhiteley, Rt. Hon. W
Hale, LesliePargiter, G. A.Wigg, Col. G. E.
Hall, W. G.Parker, J.Wilkes, L.
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.Parkin, B. T.Wilkins, W. A.
Hardy, E. A.Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Hastings, Dr. SomervillePaton, J. (Norwich)Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Herbison, Miss M.Pearson, A.Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Hewitson, Captain M.Peart, Capt. T. FWilliams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Hobson, C. R.Piratin, P.Williamson, T.
Holman, P.Porter, E. (Warrington)Wills, Mrs. E A
Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)Porter, C. (Leeds)Wilson, J. H.
House, GPrice, M. PhilipsWise, Major F. J
Hoy, J.Pritt, D. N.Woodburn, A.
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)Proctor, W. T.Woods, G. S.
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Pursey, Cmdr. HYates, V. F.
Hughes, H. D. (Wolverhampton, W.)Ranger, J.Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme)Rankin, JYounger, Hon. Kenneth
Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)Rees-Williams, D. R.Zilliacus, K.
Irving, W. J.Reeves, J.
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. AReid, T. (Swindon)TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Janner, B.Rhodes, H.Mr. Joseph Henderson and
Jay, D. P. T.Ridealgh, Mrs. MMr. Hannan.
Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.