HC Deb 12 April 1949 vol 463 cc2622-3
21. Mrs. Middleton

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether his attention has been drawn to the impossibility in many areas of obtaining sites at existing use value for the purpose of building houses and to the attempts being made by many landowners to force would-be purchasers to pay the amount of development charge twice over; and what steps are being taken by him or by the Central Land Board to deal with this state of affairs.

Mr. Silkin

Yes, Sir; and the most effective step that can be taken is for purchasers themselves to refuse to buy or lease land except by one of the methods recommended in the Central Land Board pamphlet "House 1," a copy of which I am sending to my hon. Friend. Where approved development is being held up by the price asked for the land the Board are prepared to take the matter up with the seller and in appropriate cases to purchase land under Section 43 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, for resale to developers.

Mrs. Middleton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I know the pamphlet "House 1" very well indeed, having distributed mnay copies of it, but may I ask for the help of his Ministry in getting the existence of the leaflet more widely known so that people will not be held to ransom in the way that many are who want to buy sites at the present time?

Mr. Silkin

We have done everyhing we possibly can.

Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth

Is not the complaint of the hon. Lady the Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Mrs. Middleton) a necessary result of the 1947 Act because no inducement whatever is left to the landowner to sell his land?

Mr. Silkin

I do not agree at all.

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