HC Deb 18 May 1953 vol 515 cc1830-3

Lords Amendments: In page 4, line 8, after "assignation," insert: whether made or granted before or after the passing of this Act.

Mr. H. Macmillan

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

I think it might be a good thing if we considered with this Amendment the Amendments in line 9, line 30 and line 34 as they all read together.

In the Bill it is of some importance now to provide that the right to receive compensation and the ownership of the land should as far as possible be kept in the same hands. Therefore, arrangements were made that assignments could not after the introduction of the Bill be made without the permission of the Central Land Board. There is now left the question of assignments made before the introduction of the new Bill, and they are governed by the operation of the rules under the 1947 Act.

It has been brought to our notice that in a certain number of cases there were assignments made under that Act, but notice was not given within the prescribed time—that is, by the end of last year. If those were not dealt with it would be necessary for the parties to go through the whole elaborate process of assignment all over again. Therefore, these Amendments say that there will be a month's grace in which they can go through the necessary procedure, notify the Board and thereby save a good deal of expense and trouble. We seek merely to provide that additional month's grace.

Mr. Dalton

It appears to me that these Amendments are in part, as the right hon. Gentleman has said, intended to make sure that we do not incur unnecessary delays, and for the rest it seemed to me before the right hon. Gentleman's explanation that they were a slight improvement in the prose style of the Bill, and from that point of view we welcome the Amendments. For my part, I raise no objection.

Lords Amendment: In page 4, line 28, leave out "has," and insert: merges by virtue of the same instrument or as part of the same transaction or has already.

Mr. H. Macmillan

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

This is a slightly different point. The purpose of this Amendment is almost of a drafting character. It slightly widens the categories of case in which an assignment of a claim made after 18th November last will not require the positive approval of the Central Land Board so long as the formal notice is given within one month of the assignment. It is necessary to do this for purely legal and technical reasons, to deal with all possible classes of interest holders, whether freeholders, leaseholders, or others, and it covers a rather small but important legal point which is almost one of drafting.


Lords Amendment: In page 5, leave out lines 38 to 44.

10.15 p.m.

Mr. H. Macmillan

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

This Amendment goes together with the following one, in page 6, line 8, at the end to insert: (3) Where—

  1. (a) any sum or sums has or have been paid before the passing of this Act by way of development charge in respect of any development of land within the meaning of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, or of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act, 1947; and
  2. (b) after the payment, compensation has been or falls to be paid to a person under subsection (1) of section twenty-two of the first mentioned Act or under subsection (1) of section twenty of the second mentioned Act in respect of loss or damage consisting of the depreciation in value of his interest in that land by virtue of the revocation or modification of permission for that development; and
  3. (c) but for the provisions of this subsection, the said sum or sums would have fallen to be repaid to that person under section one of this Act,
    • the repayment of the said sum or sums under the said section one shall be restricted to the amount, if any, by which it or they exceeds or together exceed the said compensation."
The Amendments are designed to remedy what would otherwise be an unfair provision in the set of provisions designed to prevent double payment. It was necessary to provide that somebody who had suffered injury and had made a claim should not be paid twice on the same account. That is why these provisions against double payment appear in these Clauses. It has been pointed out, however, that as the Bill stood payment of a small sum by way of compensation, in a case where planning permission was slightly modified—where, perhaps, a small injury had been suffered and a small payment had been made—would, without these words, have disqualified the recipient from receiving repayment of a much larger sum paid by way of development charge.

It would obviously be unfair if, having received some small compensation for a small part of the injury, a person were to be precluded from being compensated for the whole, so it is provided that if compensation of a greater amount is made that which has already been paid shall be deducted. The total compensation will therefore exactly match the amount of injury. If a person had received £50 and his final claim was assessed at £500 he would get £450.

Mr. A. J. Irvine (Liverpool, Edge Hill)

Is it clear that this provision applies only in cases where development charge has been paid before 18th November, 1952, but development has not been commenced before that date?

Mr. Macmillan

I am glad the hon. Member has asked that question, because it covers a point which I should have dealt with. In Clause 1 provision is made for the repayment of development charge in cases where no part of the development had been begun before 18th November, 1952. That gave rise to the possibility of this double payment. The hon. Member is quite correct in his interpretation of the result of this Amendment.

Remaining Lords Amendments agreed to.

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