HC Deb 16 November 1948 vol 458 cc190-1
25. Mr. Digby

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Central Land Board are trying to discourage sellers of land from assigning their claim to a share of the £300,000,000 compensation fund; whether he is aware of the inconvenience which will be caused to executors who have to close an estate by selling a remaining parcel of land and will be unable to do so until 1953 unless they assign the benefit of the claim; and if he will stop this practice.

Mr. Silkin

I am aware of and approve the advice given to buyers of land in the Central Land Board pamphlet, "House 1" to which the hon. Member presumably refers. A sale at building value coupled with an assignment of the seller's right to a payment from the £300,000,000 is unfair to the purchaser because he must pay a definite sum for the right to a payment of unknown amount and because he must pay for building value twice over in two immediate payments (the purchase price and the development charge). The Central Land Board have not raised any objection to assignments which are independent transactions and not connected with the sale of the land concerned. I do not therefore propose to stop this practice. In my legal experience I have been aware of many reasons why, without great inconvenience to executors, it has not been possible to close an estate for a long period. I cannot agree that unusual inconvenience will be caused in this case.

Mr. Digby

Is the Minister aware that there is still a good deal of confusion on this point which is one of the many bad features of this Act?

Mr. Silkin

I am aware that there is some confusion, but we are doing everything that we possibly can to clear the matter up.