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Town And Country Planning

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 17 May 1949

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Berry Head, Devon


asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning when he will make a decision on the inquiry which was held on 8th January, 1947, about Berry Head, South Devon.

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

Since the inquiry was held, a good deal of further detailed investigation has been necessary, on a number of points. This is now almost complete and I hope to be able to issue the decision this month.

May I ask the hon. Gentleman why it is that the inquiry into a very simple matter should take so long? Is he aware that there is a large amount of quarrying which is detracting enormously from the amenities of the district?

The reason is largely that my right hon. Friend is anxious to secure agreement by consultation. Many parties are involved, there have been many consultations, and we hope for an agreed solution.

Is the hon. Gentleman quite sure that the only delaying factor is not another Minister, and is he not aware that the local authorities and everyone connected with the locality are perfectly aware that they can come to an agreement at once?

Land (Certificates)


asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning how many applications have been made since the appointed day for certificates in respect of dead ripe land under Section 80 of the Town and Country Planning Act; and what area of land that represents in London, in England outside of London, in Scotland and in Wales, respectively.

Since the appointed day, 13,785 applications have been received in respect of land in England and Wales; my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland has received 246 applications, covering 903 acres, under Section 77 of the Scottish Act. It is regretted that figures indicating the areas of land involved are not available for England and Wales.

May I ask my hon. Friend whether the figures he has given to the House are up to his expectations, or was he expecting more?

I think they are pretty well what was expected. I do not know that we ever went into estimates in detail.

Could the hon. Gentleman describe a little more accurately the land concerned, which appears to be simultaneously "dead" and "ripe"?

The right hon. and gallant Gentleman is surely aware of the conditions described in the 1947 Act. If not, he has only to read the Act.

Does my hon. Friend understand that the Chairman of the Committee does not think that these figures are all that they should be?

We are anxious to get in all applications under this Section as soon as possible. I think my right hon. Friend has given public expression to that desire.

Proposed Garage, Cheadle


asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether he is aware of the strong local feeling against the erection of a garage immediately next to St. Chad's Roman Catholic Church, Cheadle; and whether, in view of the fact that the project is calculated to interfere with the orderly conduct of Divine Service, he will reverse the decision to approve it recently given by the Cheshire County Council.

I understand that this matter is at present being discussed between the local authorities and the other parties concerned. I hope these discussions may lead to a solution that can be accepted by both sides.

Is not my hon. Friend aware that the attitude of the Cheshire County Council in this case has so far been extremely high-handed, and that, if their proposal to endorse the erection of this garage next to the church is carried out, it will represent an act of vandalism?

I understand that the priest in charge and the county council are now in consultation one with another, and I hope they may reach agreement.

Development Charge (Payment)


asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning in how many cases the assessed development charge has actually been paid; in how many cases the charge has not been paid, but has been merely set off against the right to receive payment out of the £300,000,000 fund; and if he will state, together with the sums involved, how many of such latter cases belong respectively to single plot owners and how many to owners of near ripe land.

Up to the end of April, 1949, development charge amounting to £715,000 had been paid in respect of 7,259 cases. In addition £731,000 in respect of 3,844 cases—all single plot cases—had been set off against claims up to 31st March, 1949—the latest date for which figures are available.

Is my hon. Friend aware that if his Department or the Central Land Board go on at this rate, it will take them something like 300 years to collect the £300 million to be paid out in 1952?

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that some of my Socialist opponents are getting angry with his Department because of these iniquitous charges?