HC Deb 16 November 1948 vol 458 cc186-7
19. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether he is aware of the slow progress that is being made in the preparation of claims for compensation for loss of development value, owing to the fact that surveyors are overworked at the present moment; and whether he will extend beyond 31st March the period during which claims will be accepted.

The Minister of Town and Country Planning (Mr. Silkin)

The Central Land Board have discretion to extend the time limit for a further three months. They inform me that they will exercise their discretion in favour of any owner of land with numerous claims, if efforts have been made by such owner to submit a reasonable number of claims by 31st March, 1949. Any appreciable further extension of time must inevitably lead to a postponement of payment of claims.

Mr. Digby

Is the Minister aware that yesterday the Chairman of the Central Land Board said that he had received only 12,000 claims, about 24 per cent. of the total? Is it not then obvious that a general extension of the time is necessary?

Mr. Silkin

It is not obvious to me. There are four months still to go, and quite a lot of claims can come in during those four months.

Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison

Is the Minister aware that this is causing very considerable anxiety all through the country, and that resolutions have been passed by 12 or 18 Chambers of Commerce asking for an extension to 12 months, in order that it may be possible to get the claims properly adjusted? Will he kindly consider the matter again?

Mr. Silkin

I am not aware that there is any apprehension. As a matter of fact, the property owners have passed a resolution against extension of the time.