§ Resolution reported:
§ "That for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to make provision for the acquisition and development of land for planning purposes, for amending the law relating to town and country planning, and for other purposes, it is expedient to authorise the following payments, that is to say:
§ A. (1) Payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of grants to local planning authorities in respect of loan charges on moneys borrowed by them for defraying, or contributing towards, the cost of acquiring or clearing—
- (a) areas of extensive war damage, of amounts equal to such loan charges for two years, together with a proportion of the charges for further years up to eight, or in certain cases thirteen, being a proportion fixed by reference to the extent to which land in an area of extensive war damage remains by reason of war damage incapable of being brought into use for a substantial purpose and so as to provide a substantial return;
- (b) land to be used for the re-location of population or industry from areas of extensive war damage or to be used as an open space or otherwise in an undeveloped state in substitution for land in such areas which is so used, of amounts equal to such loan charges for two years, together with half the charges for a further two years;
- (c) land for highway purposes relating to such areas or to land to be used as aforesaid, of amounts equal to such loan charges for two years.
§ (2) Payment into the Exchequer of any sums received in pursuance of the said Act of the present Session in repayment of any such grants.
§ For the purposes of this paragraph—
- (i) local planning authorities shall be deemed to have incurred loan charges on moneys belonging to them which are applied by them for defraying, or contributing towards, such cost as aforesaid as if the moneys had been borrowed on terms to be fixed by the Treasury;
- (ii) land appropriated by local planning authorities for any purpose of the said Act of the present Session shall be treated as having been acquired for that purpose out of moneys belonging to them at a cost determined as mentioned in the said Act;
- (iii) payments by local planning authorities in respect of restrictions on the development or use of land acquired by them subject to the restrictions shall be treated as a part of the cost of acquiring the land defrayed out of moneys belonging to them;
- (iv) contributions towards the compensation payable on the refusal of the renewal of justices' licences in respect of land to be acquired by local planning authorities shall be treated as part of the cost of acquiring the land.
§ B. (1) Payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of such sums as may be required to be paid into the Road Fund for the purpose of meeting the cost incurred by the Minister of War Transport of acquiring land for purposes relating to trunk roads as mentioned in the said Act of the present Sessions.
§ (2) Payment into the Exchequer of any contributions received by the said Minister from local planning authorities in respect of such cost.
§ C. Payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of expenses incurred by any government department under the said Act of the present Session in paying compensation to persons (including statutory undertakers) in respect of the extinguishment or vesting of or interference with rights over land or apparatus on land, in complying with conditions imposed in connection with the use of burial grounds, or in making payments to persons displaced in the carrying out of redevelopment.
§ D. Payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of any increase in the sums payable out of such moneys under section four of the Housing (Financial Provisions) Act, 1938, which is attributable to provisions of the said Act of the present Session extending contributions under the said Act of 1938 to housing accommodation rendered necessary by displacements, occurring in the carrying out of redevelopment of land acquired under the said Act of the present Session, from houses unfit for human habitation.
§ E. Payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of remuneration and allowances to members of any tribunal constituted under the said Act of the present Session for the assessment of compensation under that Act to statutory undertakers."
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ 12.7 p.m.
§ Mr. Cocks (Broxtowe)
This will be the last opportunity the House will have to draw attention to the fact that the Money Resolution is drafted in such a way as to prevent the Bill ever becoming a satisfactory and comprehensive Measure. We remember that in the days of the blitz when London and other great cities were blasted, the Prime Minister made a speech in which he said that after the war they would rise up "beautiful, resplendent, phoenix-like from the ashes of death." Inspired by these magnificent words our local authorities developed plans for the reconstruction, for example, of Plymouth, 784 which are on exhibition within a few yards of this House, for the reconstructing of blitzed and blighted areas, with broad streets and vistas, and plenty of open spaces, with homes grouped around community centres and schools so placed that children would not have to cross streets to get to them, with special roads for fast traffic and so on. Then they waited for the Government to give the word to go. All they have got is this miserable and truncated Measure, which, as limited by the Money Resolution, has been hailed by all the land monopolists with screams of delight and has betrayed the hopes of the local authorities. As a result of this Money Resolution comprehensive local planning has been abandoned, because it only allows financial help to be given to the blitzed and not the blighted areas. Blitzed towns can re-erect their central space, they can re-erect municipal buildings. 'They can be assisted to build up a modern centre of the town, as in Plymouth, they can plan shopping and municipal centres on bold lines, but all these will be in the midst of dismal seas of ill-planned sl[...]ms. As a result the site value of the slums surrounding them will rise so that it will be imposible for the local authority ever to clear them away.
In Plymouth, which is my native town, they have a plan by which the municipal and shopping centre will be allowed to be reconstructed under this Money Resolution, but attached to that plan, and making part of it, is a great processional avenue from North Road Station to the Hoe, giving a vista of the sparkling waters of Plymouth Sound and getting rid of a lot of mean streets. As a result of this Money Resolution the value of all that land, one cannot call it exactly slum land, but ill-planned land, will rise in value, and that road in the Plymouth programme can never be constructed; so I say that this Bill means the death of planning. For the glorious golden phoenix of the Prime Minister's oratory it substitutes the black carrion crow of the land monopolist and the bald-headed vulture of the land speculator. For the perfect civic statue which might have been so beautiful we have now this mutilated Venus de Milo or rather Venus de Morrison, a figure with no arms to act and no power to replan on comprehensive lines. I am glad there will still be an opportunity of bringing in the blighted areas as well as the blitzed areas so as to make our cities as beautiful 785 as Paris and as noble as the Athens of Pericles, and that will be after the next Election, when a Labour Government will have the opportunity of bringing in a Bill which will extend the powers of this Measure to include areas which are blighted as well as those which are blitzed.
§ Question put, and agreed to.