HC Deb 27 May 1919 vol 116 cc1147-8

(1)Notwithstanding the provisions of any building by-laws a local authority may, during a. period of two years from the passing of this Act, consent to the erection and use for human habitation of any buildings erected or proposed to be erected in accordance with plans approved by the Local Government Board.

(2)The local authority may attach to their consent any conditions which they may deem proper with regard to the situation, sanitary arrangements, and protection against fire of such buildings, and may fix and from time to time extend the period during which such buildings shall be allowed to be used for human habitation.

(3)If any person feels aggrieved by the neglect or refusal of the local authority to give such consent or by the conditions on which such consent is given, or as to the period allowed for the use of such buildings for human habitation, he may appeal to the Local Government Board, whose decision shall be final, and shall have effect as if it were the decision of the local authority, provided that the Board may, before considering any such appeal, require the appellant to deposit such sum, not exceeding ten pounds, to cover the costs of appeal, as may be fixed by rules to be made by them.

(4)Section twenty-seven of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1907, shall not apply to any buildings to which this Section applies.

(5)In the application of this Section to the administrative county of London, the expression "local authority" means the London County Council with respect to matters within their jurisdiction, and the common council of the City of London or the council of a Metropolitan borough (as the case may be) with respect to other matters.


I beg to move, in Subsection (1), to leave out the words during a period of two years from the passing of this Act. I am moving this at the request of the hon. and gallant Member in whose name it stands (Captain Ormsby-Gore). I cannot understand why these words were put in. There can be no objection, surely, to removing them, because the local authority would still have full power if the words did not exist. Why should we limit it to a period of two years when, probably, a large number of housing schemes must go on for a much longer period? I hope the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill will agree to accept this Amendment.


I beg to second the Amendment.


I am afraid I cannot accept the Amendment as it stands. The effect would be to make the position permanent. The limitation of time put in this Clause with regard to the erection of buildings was designed to meet the case of the utilisation of Army huts used for various emergency purposes as dwellings, the erection of which, though desirable and necessary, would nevertheless be contrary to by-laws. I feel that during the transitional period this kind of thing may be necessary, but it does not therefore follow that we are to adopt this kind of expedient for all time. If the hon. Member will be in any way satisfied, I am quite willing to give him "three" instead of "two," but I cannot go further than that.


I think "three" is almost as bad as "two" Will not the right hon. Gentleman make it "four years"? When the suggestion with regard to adapting Army huts was made it was held they would be quite suitable for seven years.


The hon. Member misinterprets the words of the Clause. This is the time during which the buildings may be erected, and not the time they may last or be used as habitations.


I will not labour the matter. I shall be pleased to accept three years.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment made: Leave out the word "two" ["during a period of two years"], and insert instead thereof the word "three," —[Mr. Lorden]