asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement as to how he will exercise his powers under the financial provisions of the Town and Country Planning Acts with regard to the treatment of mineral undertakers and mineral lessors.
Yes. When the Bill for the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, was before the House it was stated that in the distribution of the £300 million special ("near-ripe") treatment would be given to mineral undertakers as regards their holdings of mineral-bearing land. It has now been decided that a mineral undertaker claiming in respect of land which was held by him on 1st July, 1948, for the purpose of winning and working the minerals therein will receive from the £300 million a payment equal to the development value for winning and working minerals of his interest in that land. This will apply whether the mineral undertaker held the land freehold or under a mining lease or licence.It has also been decided that any owner claiming in respect of land which on 1st July, 1948, was the subject of a mining lease or licence will receive from the £300 million a payment equal to the development value for winning and working minerals of his interest in that land. Land as regards which a mineral undertaker was on 1st July, 1948, under binding contract to purchase or take a mining lease or licence will be treated in the same way as land held by a mineral undertaker on that date." Mineral undertaker" for this purpose does not include a landowner who works minerals only for use on his estate. These decisions apply to England, Wales and Scotland, and effect will be given to them in the schemes for distribution of the £300 million to be made under the English and Scottish Acts.The Central Land Board will be ready to discuss with representatives of the claimants concerned any questions arising out of these decisions, and in particular whether, and to what extent, development charges can be set off against the payment from the £300 million in these cases.