HC Deb 24 March 1942 vol 378 cc1811-2
63. Mr. Bossom

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Buildings whether, before he formulates any future planning for reconstruction, he will give consideration to the ending of existing anomalies due to the Law of Ancient Lights, and replace these by regulations which will prescribe an envelope within which any building upon any site must in the future be enclosed?

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Buildings (Mr. Henry Strauss)

My Noble Friend is aware of the problem of ancient lights in relation to planning. It is usual to include in a planning scheme provisions prescribing the height of buildings, fixing build- ing lines and prescribing the space about buildings, and power is conferred by the Town and Country Planning Act, 1932, to include in such a scheme provision for extinguishing or varying easements, including easements of light.

Mr. Bossom

Does my hon. Friend realise that the Town and Country Planning Act to which he referred does not apply in most built-up areas and that unless something of this sort is arranged, there will be unlimited litigation after the war is over?

Mr. Strauss

I think that perhaps my hon. Friend is a little pessimistic, but if he will confer with me and explain exactly what he means by "prescribing an envelope," I shall be glad to look into it further.

Mr. Bossom

My hon. Friend is obviously not aware that this is the current term in countries where this system has been worked out very satisfactorily.