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Clause 58—(Notification To Minister Of Action Taken For Securing Public Access)

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 19 July 1949

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I beg to move, in page 46, line 6, to leave out "two years," and to insert "one year."

The purpose of this Amendment is to reduce to one year the period in which local planning authorities are required, after having completed the review of access requirements, to take action to secure public access. Representations have been made to me that, once they have decided the areas in which it is right that the public should have access, it is not necessary that there should be two years in which to acquire that access. I feel that the period could properly be reduced to one year, provided that the House is ready to accept the next Amendment enabling the Minister to give a longer period which may be necessary in a particular case. The two must go together. The two years was an absolute period and the one year is a discretionary period.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move, in page 46, line 7, after "section," to insert:

"or within such longer period as the Minister may in any particular case allow."

I see that this will depend on regulations which the Minister makes with regard to areas of authority, maps, the scale of maps, and so on. In other departments such as coal, gas, and electricity, we have had to wait a long time for regulations, and this has held up proceedings sometimes by as much as one year. The whole of this plan may be vitiated if the Minister is too slow. If he wishes for an earlier period, can he at least give an undertaking that the regulations will be forthcoming at sufficient speed to enable the authorities to carry out their powers?

I speak again by leave of the House. Without going into details, I think the hon. Member is under a misconception, but I give the House the assurance that if local authorities are held up by reason of the lack of regulations, that will be regarded as a satisfactory reason for extending the period.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move, in page 46, line 12, after "prescribed," to insert:

  • "(a) the approximate extent of land in the area of any of the descriptions specified in subsection (2) of section fifty-four of this Act, and
  • (b)."
  • The purpose of this Amendment is to inform the public not only of the land to which it is proposed they should have access, but also of all available land to which access can be given. A request was made that the public should know not only what land they were allowed to go to, but what land they could not go to, and this Amendment is moved to meet that request.

    Amendment agreed to.