§ 59. Mr. Nigel Davies
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that cases are arising where people of extremely limited means are having small plots of land compulsorily purchased under the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, for sums which are only a fraction of what they originally paid for them; and if he will introduce legislation to ensure immediate compensation for these people instead of the eventual and uncertain compensation provided for under the Act.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
I am aware that compensation under a compulsory purchase may fall short of the price originally paid, because development value was, on 1st July, 1948, removed from the hands of private owners. Owners had the right to claim against the £300 million for this loss of development value, and owners of single housing plots which have been compulsorily acquired have been promised, if they have claimed, a payment out of that sum equal to development value. The answer to the second part of the Question is "No."
§ Mr. Nigel Davies
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I can give him an example of a constituent of very limited means who bought a plot of land for over £400 in 1935, and who has been offered £20 by the district valuer; and, in view of the completely doubtful and remote nature of the compensation, does not this amount to virtual confiscation?
§ Mr. Gaitskell
As I have already explained, in the case of owners of small plots of land, they will be paid 100 per cent. when the £300 million comes to be distributed. [HON. MEMBERS: "When will that be?"] The Act provides that it must begin in 1953.