HC Deb 19 June 1934 vol 291 cc199-200
40 and 41. Mr. YOUNG

asked the Minister of Health (1) whether he is aware that under the Housing Act, 1930, Mrs. J. Neale, of 23, St. Kenya Avenue, Hove, was ordered in October, 1932, to demolish Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4, Victoria Court, Southampton; that the demolition charges in connection with the same amounted to £43; that legal and other charges amounted to £42 10s.; that the municipal authorities of Southampton do not intend to purchase the site; that Mrs. Neale is not permitted to sell it to a private person for building purposes; and wheher he proposes to take any action in the matter;

(2) whether he is aware that Mrs. J. Neale has recently been served with an order to demolish Nos. 1 and 2, Vyse Court, Southampton, in the Wickham Court clearance area; that she is unable to pay the costs of demolition and to engage legal assistance to represent her interests at the inquiry; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?


The houses in Victoria Court were included as being unfit for human habitation in a Clearance Order confirmed by my right hon. Friend under the Housing Act, 1930. The Act provides that such properties shall be demolished by the owners, or in their default, by the local authority who may recover from the owners any expenses so incurred, and no compensation is payable. An owner has a right to appeal to my right hon. Friend at any time against restrictions imposed by the local authority on the development of the cleared site. Mrs. Neale has not exercised this right of appeal. The houses in Vyse Court are included in a Clearance Order which is at present receiving consideration. The objection lodged on behalf of Mrs. Neale will be carefully considered and my right hon. Friend's decision will be reached in the light of a report by his Inspector following an inspection of the properties. It will be open to Mrs. Neale to attend the inquiry which is to be held on the 26th June either in person or by any agent she may appoint.


With reference to the last part of the second question, may I ask what will happen to this lady, who is now entirely without means, if the council decide to demolish her property and she is unable to pay their bills?


That is a matter between the council and the lady in question.