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Clause 9—(Amounts, And Payment, Of Improvement Grants)

Volume 467: debated on Wednesday 13 July 1949

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I beg to move, in page 8, line 15, at the end, to insert:

"Provided that where
  • (i) the application for the improvement grant could not have been entertained but for the proviso to subsection (4) of the last foregoing section; and
  • (ii) the local authority are satisfied that the expense of executing the improvement works was materially enhanced by reason of measures taken to preserve the architectural or historic interest of the house or building to which the application relates,
  • the amount of the improvement grant may be such fraction of the approved expense of executing works, in excess of one-half thereof, as may, with the consent of the Secretary of State, be determined as aforesaid."
    The normal grant made for an improvement is 50 per cent. up to £600. The Amendment now before us proposes that more than 50 per cent., even up to 100 per cent., if necessary, can be given for the excess over £600 where the improvement is of architectural or historical interest. This is not for the purpose of a grant to the owner of a house, but to ensure that if it is to be restored for this good reason a great increase in the rent should not be necessary. Where an improvement is not altogether for the benefit only of the owner, but for the public, a grant should be given by the public funds.

    Does this Amendment cover the point raised in Committee on Clause 8 on this matter?

    Yes; we altered the original drafting of my hon. Friend's Amendment to limit these grants to historical and architectural purposes. His Amendment was, I think he will agree, rather wide.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.