§ MR. HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
asked the hon. Member for the Knutsford Division of Cheshire, as representing the Metropolitan Board of Works, If Government buildings are exempted from the General Regulations laid down by the Board, as to the "setting back" of new buildings; and, in such case, on what ground an exception is made, calculated to interfere with the convenience of the public, and to diminish the value of adjacent property?
MR. TATTON EGERTON (Cheshire. Knutsford)
In answer to the hon. 879 Member's Question, I have to say that the General Regulations to which he refers are Regulations made, not by the Board, but by Act of Parliament. The 75th section of the Metropolis Management Amendment Act, 1862, prohibits the erection of buildings beyond the general line without the consent of the Board; and a further Act of 1878 prohibits the erection of buildings at less than the prescribed distance from the centre of a road without the consent of the Board. In both these Acts, however, it is provided that nothing contained in them shall take away, prejudice, or diminish the rights of the Crown. It is the rule with the Crown Authorities to require provisions of this kind to be inserted in Acts of Parliament. I may add that last year the Board communicated with Her Majesty's Office of Works on the subject of the erection of Government buildings beyond the general line; and that the Board received a reply stating that, while the Commissioners could not surrender their right of exemption from the provisions of the Acts in regard to lines of frontage, they were willing to give the Board an assurance that the privilege would be exercised as sparingly as possible.