HC Deb 29 July 1952 vol 504 cc1407-9

Lords Amendment: In page 1, line 12, leave out from "with" to "the", and insert: all appropriate public services, facilities for public worship, recreation and amenity, and other requirements.

Mr. H. Macmillan

I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

The effect of this Amendment would be to substitute the word on the Order Paper for the words any public services and other incidentals needed. This, again, is something between a drafting Amendment and one of substance. Its purpose is simply to make clear that the provision of such things as playing fields is a necessary part of town development. We have not mentioned that specifically, because to do that, as hon. and learned Gentlemen will know, would be to throw doubts upon the generality of the power, so this form of words has been suggested in another place to make it clear that recreation and amenity and such other requirements should be included in the powers which are here acquired. I think everyone will agree with that purpose, and I am advised that this form of words makes possible the wider purpose that we all want to achieve.

Mr. J. A. Sparks (Acton)

Before we pass from this Amendment, I should like to ask the Minister to be a little more clear on the precise meaning of the words which he is proposing to insert here—the words "recreation and amenity and other requirements." I can see no objection whatever to doing what the right hon. Gentleman suggests in regard to playing fields and recreation, but does not this open the door very wide? The Minister himself said that it opened the door widely.

Is the Minister trying to find accommodation for licensed premises? We know we have it in the New Towns Bill, and the Town Development Bill is a subsidiary to that Measure. Is the right hon. Gentleman proposing to provide for licensed premises and for dog-racing tracks? There is a whole host of things that may be regarded as amenities and recreations, but which may at the same time be rather undesirable. I would like the right hon. Gentleman to give us some assurance on this, and to tell us quite plainly if that really is his proposal.

Mr. Macmillan

With the leave of the House, I should like to answer that point. I am not here dealing with public services or public-houses. The wording of this Amendment follows Section 1 (2) of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1944—a very respectable period of Coalition—and Section 119 (1) of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, perhaps even more respectable from the point of view of hon. Gentlemen opposite. That was the definition used in those Acts, and we have merely inserted those words in this Bill in order to make quite sure that we cover the purposes we have in mind.

Mr. C. W. Gibson (Clapham)

I should like the Minister to tell us whether included in the definition of the words "and other requirements" would be included such things as youth clubs and social services about which in the past there has on occasion been considerable difficulties. If this change makes it easier for housing authorities where this need exists—and it does exist in all new town developments —to provide facilities of this kind, I think it is a good change, but I should like to be clear that is what it means.

Mr. Macmillan indicated assent.

Question put, and agreed to.

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