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Building Licences

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 November 1950

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asked the Minister of Health whether he will permit the builder in Tynemouth, whose name has been supplied to him, who has the labour, the material and the land, to build houses for sale to the appropriate local authority in addition to their permitted quota.

It is for the local authority to decide what arrangements they will make for the building of their houses, and they have given no indication that they wish to enter into the arrangement suggested. The question of an additional allocation does not, therefore, arise.

In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman emphasised what has been done in his speech during the housing debate, and the fact that he refused the application submitted by the builder to me without consulting the local authority, will he please reconsider this question?


asked the Minister of Health whether he requires local authorities to supply his Department with a return of the number of licences issued by them for private house building for sale; and whether his Department take steps to ensure that the licence granted is actually taken up by the person to whom it is issued.

Local authorities furnish figures of licences issued, and they are published in the Housing Return. On the second part of the Question, I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of Circular 108–50 issued to local authorities on 6th November.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, in some instances, where a person to whom a licence has been issued finds that he is unable to take it out, it is handed to the builder for his disposal instead of going back to the local authority?


asked the Minister of Health whether he is willing to grant licences, additional to the local authority allocation, to individuals who propose to build their own houses without using any additional labour.


asked the Minister of Health why he insists upon building licences in the case of individuals who are ready and anxious to build their own houses, using no labour beyond that of their own hands and no licensed building materials.

A licence for the erection of a new house by a private person is required under Defence Regulation 56A. All licences issued by local authorities must come out of the total allocations made to them. I know of no scheme under which a concession of the kind desired by the hon. Members could be made which would not be liable to extensive abuse. I am willing to consider any suggestions which the hon. Members may wish to make.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is reported that a scheme was produced by the British Legion whereby houses were built by members and were in addition to the local authority houses? If that is the case could that be extended to individuals?

The argument arises as to whether these houses could be additional to the housing programme. If they could be made additional then the housing programme could be extended to that extent. We have had these schemes before and they have been very largely abused.

Will the right hon. Gentleman look into the scheme operating in Sweden where a Socialist Government encourages this sort of thing and Socialist councils employ clerks of works to help people who want to build their own houses?

I am willing to consider suggestions whereby houses can be built under supervision, but that is not the Question on the Order Paper.