HC Deb 01 November 1955 vol 545 cc823-4
15. Captain Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that the basis of compensation for compulsory acquisition of land by local authorities is the existing use value plus so much of any unexpended balance of established development value as is appropriate to the interest being acquired whereas disposals of land by local authorities to private persons are on the basis of current market value; and, in view of the unfairness of this, what steps he will take to amend the law on this subject.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. J. Nixon Browne)

The basis of compensation to which the hon. Member refers was laid down in the Town and Country Planning (Scotland)Act, 1954, which came into operation as recently as 1st January, 1955, and it is too early to consider any change. Local authorities in Scotland do not normally use their compulsory purchase powers to buy more land than they need. When exceptionally they dispose of surplus land which may well have changed its character during their ownership they are required to get the best price they can. I see nothing unfair in this requirement.

Captain Duncan

Is my hon. Friend not aware that as a result of inquiries under the development plans of local towns, this real grievance has come to light? Will he not now set up a committee to collect evidence so that legislation, if necessary, may be introduced at a later date?

Mr. Browne

I am not fully aware of the point which my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for South Angus (Captain Duncan) has in mind, but if he will send me any particulars, I shall be very glad to look into them.

Captain Duncan

As my hon. Friend is not fully aware of the circumstances, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.