HC Deb 22 July 1935 vol 304 cc1468-9

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that a piece of land which has been let for many years to the Mexborough Urban District Council and used by the public as a footpath has now been closed to them after the council had agreed to purchase the land at the price suggested by the owner's representative; that the offer was withdrawn and a larger price demanded, while at the same time a larger rent was asked; and whether, in view of the inconvenience to the general public caused by this and similar incidents, he will obtain powers to prevent the exploitation of the public by such means?


The hon. Member has been good enough to bring this matter to my right hon. Friend's notice, and he has also received a statement from the urban district council. The hon. Member will appreciate that having heard only one side my right hon. Friend cannot express any opinion upon the merits of the case, but the council already have powers of purchasing land compulsorily at a price settled by arbitration, and he doubts whether further powers are needed.


Is the hon. Member aware that this local authority desired to purchase the land at the owner's price and that the owner withdrew the offer and demanded three times the original amount or three times the original rent, and does not the Minister think that where public convenience is disturbed in this way there should be power to deal with such an owner.


I understand that there are powers, and, if the hon. Member will read my answer, I think he will find the information he desires.