HC Deb 28 February 1956 vol 549 c988
32. Mr. A. J. Irvine

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether, having regard to the statement of Government policy in paragraph 38 of Command Paper No. 8699, 1952, he is satisfied that unreasonably high prices are not being demanded in the open market for land required for development purposes; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Powell

I am not aware that development is being impeded because of extortionate prices demanded for land, but I will certainly consider any information which the hon. Member cares to send me.

Mr. Irvine

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that very high prices are now being demanded in different parts of the country? Will he indicate how high prices have to go before the Government extend the powers of compulsory acquisition which they said in the White Paper they would do in certain events?

Mr. Powell

If a local authority acquires land in order to resell it for development, it must resell it at the current market value in that area.

Mr. Stokes

Has not the hon. Gentleman yet properly understood that the way to puncture the speculative value of land is to introduce a rate on site values?