asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning how many applications he has received under Sections 19 and 20 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947; how many of these have been allowed and rejected, respectively; and what is the average period which elapses between the making of an application under these sections and a final decision by the Minister in regard to it.
The number of purchase notices received by me under Section 19 is 570. Of these, 79 have been confirmed and my proposals to confirm 227 others have been notified to the parties concerned. In four other cases I have reversed the decision of the local planing authority which gave rise to the purchase notice and allowed the development to proceed; and in seven other cases I have notified my proposal to take similar action. In eight cases the notices have been rejected. The average period which elapses between the serving of a purchase notice on the local authority and my final decision is 19 weeks. This includes the time during which the notice is with the local authority, the statutory period of 28 days during which a hearing may be claimed, and the time needed to consider the notice. I have no information about the number of claims for compensation received by local planning authorities under Section 20.
Will my right hon. Friend take steps to expedite the decision in these cases, particularly in instances where the property is situated in areas of major war damage? People have been waiting a very long time either to develop or to have their land acquired, and there is a sense of frustration on account of these delays.
I will certainly do my best, but I am not aware that there is any avoidable delay.