HC Deb 29 July 1957 vol 574 cc1024-5

10.58 p.m.

The Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (Mr. Henry Brooke)

I beg to move, That the Town and Country Planning (Minerals)(Amendment)Regulations, 1957, dated 8th July, 1957, a copy of which was laid before this House on 10th July, be approved. These amending Regulations will correct a defect in the drafting of the main Regulations. I understand that it is just the same point which arises in the Scottish amending Regulations.

Mr. Speaker

I was wondering whether these and the Scottish Regulations—which seem to cover the same point—might be discussed together. They will remain separate Questions, and can be put separately.

Mr. G. R. Mitchison (Kettering)

We have no objection, Sir.

Mr. Brooke

The main Regulations for England and Wales were made at the end of 1954 and came into effect on 1st January, 1955. What they do is to apply the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Acts to mineral operations. Paragraph 1 of Regulation 10 in the main Regulations provides for compensation to be payable for abortive expenditure incurred, including loss in respect of buildings, plant and machinery, when an application is refused for permission to continue mining operations in land adjoining land where mining operations have been carried out since 1937 in accordance with pre-1947 planning control. Paragraph 2 of the same Regulation is designed to say that if the conditions set out in paragraph 1 are fulfilled, but not otherwise, a further claim can be made for loss or damage, for example, in respect of disturbance, including loss of profits.

I am advised, though the matter has never come before the courts, to the best of my knowledge, that the drafting of Regulation 10 is defective and, consequently, that it is open to a different interpretation from what it has been understood and intended to mean. The reason why I have to ask the House to approve the amending Regulation is to remedy the defect in drafting and put the position beyond doubt.

11.2 p.m.

Mr. G. R. Mitchison (Kettering)

On this side of the House we have considered this matter. I think that substantially the same point is in both the English and the Scottish Regulations. We agree with the intentions of the Government. We see the necessity of the Regulations to give effect to those intentions.

As regards England and Wales, we take no objection at all. Perhaps I can save a little trouble for the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland by saying that I am authorised to say, as I do with trepidation in Scottish affairs, that the Scottish attitude is the same as the English on this matter.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That the Town and Country Planning (Minerals)(Amendment)Regulations, 1957, dated 8th July, 1957, a copy of which was laid before this House on 10th July, be approved.

Town and Country Planning (Minerals)(Amendment)(Scotland)Regulations, 1957, dated 8th July, 1957 [copy laid before the House, 10th July] approved.—[Mr. Nixon Browne.]