HC Deb 12 December 1949 vol 470 c2340
18. Mr. Chetwynd

asked the Minister of Works what action he proposes to take in connection with the proposed reduction in the exemption limit for building licensing.

Mr. Key

I have made an order under Defence Regulation 56A reducing from £1,000 to £500 the amount which may be spent without licence on individual properties in the categories of industrial and agricultural building in the 12 months from 1st July, 1949 to 30th June, 1950; the corresponding amount for office buildings, storage buildings and educational buildings is reduced from £1,000 to £100. These new limits will take effect from 1st February next so that work started under the previous limit but costing more than the new limit will not require a licence if it is finished before 1st February; otherwise an application for a licence should be made in good time before that date.

The order makes no change in the £100 exemption limit for the remaining classes of building.

Captain Crookshank

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what the estimated reduction of capital investment will be as a result of this?

Mr. Key

No, I cannot, but what it does do is to bring this business more under control so that we can keep it in relation to the other things for which we have to give licences.

Sir W. Smithers

Can the Minister do anything about issuing better licences and better priorities for homes for the people? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the Orpington area we were allowed to build only 400 houses last year and we could have built over 1,000? Will the right hon. Gentleman set about the Minister of Health?