HC Deb 03 March 1938 vol 332 c1279
60. Mr. Mander

asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider the advisability, before approving a resolution to prepare a scheme under the Town Planning Act, of satisfying himself that the planning authority is possessed of an adequate and qualified staff or adviser for the purpose of preparing the scheme, and that competent architectural advice will be made use of by the interim development authority in the consideration of proposals submitted during the interim period?

Sir K. Wood

Parliament has entrusted local authorities with the responsibility of preparing planning schemes, and I have no jurisdiction to prescribe the number or qualifications of their staff in this connection. I may, however, say that having regard to the active part now taken by county councils in the preparation of schemes, and to the extension of the joint committee system, the general standard of administration under the Act of 1932 is steadily improving. As regards interim development applications, the hon. Member is aware that the voluntary panels of architects are now widely called into consultation by authorities, and I am ready to bring this system further to the notice of the authority in any area where I have reason to think that it is desirable to do so.

Mr. Mander

Can the right hon. Gentleman say in how many cases a competent architectural adviser has been available in connection with the scheme?

Sir K. Wood

I will inquire and will let the hon. Gentleman know.