HC Deb 22 November 1954 vol 533 cc967-8

In page 33, line 24, after "permission" insert "applied for."

Lords Amendment: In page 33, line 25, at end insert: (5) In giving any direction under this section, the Secretary of State shall have regard—

  1. (a) to the provisions of the development plan for the area in which the land in question is situated, or
  2. (b) where a development plan has not by that time become operative with respect to that area, to any direction which he may have given to the local planning authority as to the provisions to be included in such a plan and to any other provisions which in his opinion will be required to be so included for securing the proper planning of that area,
so far as those provisions are material to the development of that land, and shall also have regard to the local circumstances affecting the proposed development, including the use which prevails generally in the case of contiguous or adjacent land, and to any other material considerations.

The Lord Advocate

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

This Amendment gives effect to an undertaking given during the Report stage. Its purpose is to ensure that the Secretary of State, in considering whether or not to give directions amending the planning decision of a local planning authority, or granting, or giving an undertaking to grant, planning permission for some other development of the land to which the application relates, shall have regard to the various matters referred to in the Amendment as a background for any decision he takes under the Clause.

Mr. Lawson

My concern here is that the Secretary of State is so hedged around with restrictions and qualifications that he might find it very much to his interest to apply the latter part, which takes into account contiguous use, and make it awkward for the people who wish to go ahead with a plan. The Secretary of State would have a financial interest as, if he permits development, there is no call for payment of compensation. If, on the other hand, he refuses development, compensation is to be paid. He is so hedged around with restrictions that he might have too much of an inducement to permit development and so avoid having to pay compensation. Can we be assured that the latter part of the Amendment is not likely to outweigh paragraph (a) and (b)?

Mr. C. N. Thornton-Kemsley (North Angus and Mearns)

Since the undertaking was given to me and my hon. Friends, I should feel churlish if I did not express thanks to my right hon. and learned Friend for the way in which this Amendment was introduced. I do not think the hon. Member for Motherwell (Mr. Lawson) need feel disquiet about it. The purpose is quite clear. If the Secretary of State gives permission for an alternative type of development, it should be such as would accord with the development plan, if there is one, or with the kind of proposals which would be in the development plan were such a plan operative.

The Lord Advocate

There is no intention whatever of one of these considerations, particularly the latter ones, outweighing the others. They are all matters which the Minister must take into account and he is directed to have regard to them.

Question put, and agreed to. [Special Entry.]