Lords Amendment: In page 23, line 18, at end insert:
(3) Where, on an application for planning permission for the carrying out of new development of land to which this section applies, a planning decision is made after the commencement of this Act whereby that permission is granted (whether unconditionally or not) and the Secretary of State certifies that he is satisfied that particular buildings or works to which the application related were only included therein because the applicant had reason to believe that permission for the other development to which the application related would not have been granted except subject to a condition requiring the erection or construction of those buildings or works, then, for the purposes of this Part of this Act—
§ The Lord Advocate (Mr. J. L. Clyde)
I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
This Amendment, although long, has a quite simple purpose. It is possible that in some cases an intending developer, having ascertained that permission to build would not be granted unless a service road was provided, might include the service road in his application for planning permission. As the Bill stands, no compensation would be payable in those cases because provision of the road was not required by a condition attached to the planning permission. The effect of the Amendment is that if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the service road was included in the application in anticipation of the local planning authority's requirements, compensation would be payable in the same way as if it had been required by a condition attached to the planning permission.
§ Mr. Woodburn
It would be interesting to know what the Amendment will cost. Why are all these words required simply to say that a claim may be admitted if the Secretary of State so thinks fit? To put in this great number of words must complicate anybody's judgment in reading the Bill, whereas all that needs to be said is that in the case of a service road, if the Secretary of State is satisfied that a claim ought to be admitted, he may authorise the claim to be paid. This would cut out a great deal of the wordiness involved in putting service roads in the Bill, taking them out, and then making Amendments to exempt them again.
The Bill has been made unnecessarily complicated. I wish that the Government had taken powers to make regulations covering a lot of these matters. They have made their work even more complicated than it need be. Am I to understand that the payment of a claim in 960 the case of a service road is simply a matter for the discretion of the Secretary of State, and that this is all the Amendment amounts to?
§ The Lord Advocate
That is not quite all; it is a little more involved than that. Had that been all that the Amendment amounted to, it would have been easy to draft it in far fewer words. I attempted to describe exactly the ambit of this additional provision. I do not want to repeat it all, but the substance is that if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the service road was included in the application in anticipation of the local planning authority's requirements, compensation is to be payable in the same way as if that service road had been required by a condition attached to the planning permission. It is a little more involved and qualified than the right hon. Gentleman imagined.
§ 12 midnight.
§ Mr. Woodburn
This is asking the Secretary of State to be something of a mind reader. In other words, he has got to psycho-analyse this man who put in the application, and——
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris)
The right hon. Gentleman, under the guise of asking a question, is making a second speech.
§ Mr. Woodburn
Is this a case of having to be a mind reader, of psycho-analysing a contractor before he puts in his application?
§ The Lord Advocate
We do not anticipate that that will be necessary. The Secretary of State has to be satisfied from the information put before him, and only when he is satisfied does the additional provision come into effect.
§ Miss Margaret Herbison (Lanarkshire, North)
This Amendment is not quite as simple as the Lord Advocate would wish us to believe. As far as I understand it, it does not have any retrospective value. It applies to someone who in the future is going to develop a piece of land. It applies not only to a service road—that was only an example that was given—but might apply to all sorts of things, and my right hon. Friend was perfectly correct when he said that either the developer was going to act as a 961 thought reader, or the Secretary of State would be expected to act in that capacity.
I wonder if I have got it right. A developer wishes to develop a piece of land. He sends in his plans to the planning authority, and in those plans he has made allowance for provisions which he might not think are necessary. He imagines if he does not have these extra provisions the local authority will not give him planning permission. Surely, since this provision is not retrospective, it would be much more sensible legislation for the developer in the first place to send in his plans of what he actually wants to do in the area he desires to develop, and if these plans are turned down by the planning authority it can give him reasons why it turned them down.
In other words, it would say, "We will only allow you planning development here if you build a certain service road" or "We will only allow you certain development planning here if you carry out certain other provisions." That seems to me the sensible way to proceed, and if that were carried into effect neither the developer nor the Secretary of State would be put in the position of being a mind reader or a thought reader. The Secretary of State will be put into a very invidious position. He has to decide whether this service road or whatever other provision it is would have been asked for by the local authority.
If the Secretary of States takes the decision that, of necessity, the planning authority would have demanded that, the planning authority, on the other hand, could say, "We certainly would not have demanded all this provision," and the Secretary of State would have to arbitrate between the developer and the planning authority. It seems to me that the Bill would have been far better left as it was, to have allowed refusal in the first place; and then the planning authority would have stated quite clearly why it refused and what other provisions it would accept in the plan. I feel that this is not an Amendment that we should accept, for it is an Amendment which not only makes this Bill more complicated but in part makes it foolish.
§ Question put, and agreed to. [Special Entry.]962
Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed to: In page 23, line 30, after "1932)," insert:
or by virtue of any regulations made under paragraph 13 of the said Schedule (which relates to certain applications under the Restriction of Ribbon Development Act, 1935)