HC Deb 28 February 1949 vol 462 cc80-2

5.45 p.m.

Mr. Barnes

I beg to move, in page 7, line 11, to leave out from the second "it" to "the," in line 12, and to insert: and for the purposes of Section one hundred and forty-seven of the London Government Act, 1939, in its application to bye-laws under this Subsection the confirming authority shall be. Section 147 of the London Government Act, 1939, sets out the procedure to be followed in the making of by-laws by local authorities in the London government area. The purpose of the Amendment is to ensure that the procedure is followed in respect of any bylaw issued under the powers conferred by the Clause.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

Mr. Manningham-Buller

The right hon. Gentleman was good enough to answer the question I put to him just now. I have one further question to which, I hope, he will again be able to give me a satisfactory answer. I should be grateful if he will explain what precisely is the effect of paragraph (c) of subsection (8). The drafting of the subsection seems to be complicated. It brings in Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947. I am not quite clear how that is expected or intended to work. I should be grateful, if I have made the point clear to the right hon. Gentleman, if he would explain how that paragraph is to operate.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Can my right hon. Friend also say what further inquiries have been made since the Second Reading Debate on the Bill about the possibility of alternative parking places to those suggested in the Clause, namely, Clapham Common and Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park? Both of them are open spaces and it would be a pity to encroach upon them to any greater extent than might be necessary. I know that my right hon. Friend does not want to encroach upon those open spaces more than is absolutely essential. There might be alternative cleared sites nearer the Exhibition area which might be used. Perhaps my right hon. Friend would be able to say whether he has made any further inquiries which hold out the possibility that it might not be necessary to use the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, or that it may be possible to cut down the area that he proposes to use on the Clapham Common site.

Mr. Barnes

With regard to the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, I understand that negotiations are proceeding with Lord Rothermere and I have had no further information as to those discussions since I made my statement on Second Reading. I indicated then that we were not anxious to use any of that space if it could possibly be avoided but that at this stage we are merely taking powers in a precautionary sense. I can only give a further assurance to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton) that if it is at all possible to avoid the use of that very limited and valuable open space, it will be done.

The use of Clapham Common is not considered to represent any encroachment on public amenities. The parts which it is proposed to use as car parks or coach parks are now huge dumps of debris and I rather doubt whether those dumps would have been removed for a very considerable time had not a need of this character arisen. It is quite true that from the point of view of the convenience of those travelling by coach there is a lot to be said against putting them down in an area like Clapham Common; but, on the other hand, it is impossible for us to handle the traffic arrangements by allowing coaches to deliver their passengers either in or near the Exhibition. As to our survey of bombed sites and open places, it looks as though we shall want all the available sites that we can obtain within a reasonable distance of the Exhibition for private cars. Therefore, the need to avail ourselves of these eight acres or thereabouts of land on Clapham Common for this purpose appears to me to be as strong as ever, but it will undoubtedly have the effect of removing the debris from those acres and in the long run that may prove to be an advantage. There we have also the advantage of two tube stations with direct delivery to the Exhibition site. I must add that between now and the Exhibition, it will be necessary for us to obtain other spaces, probably on the north side of London, for a similar purpose.

In reply to the point put by the hon. and learned Member for Daventry (Mr. Manningham-Buller), I am informed that Subsection (8, c) gives power to re-assess the award of the development charge if a man's land is taken away from him for the Exhibition. I am afraid that that is not too clear a legal definition but I do not pretend to be in a position to give an adequate explanation on that point.

Mr. O. Poole

Does this apply only to car parks or to all land taken over for the Exhibition?

Mr. Barnes

In this case, to car parks only.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 6 ordered to stand part of the Bill.