HC Deb 16 June 1958 vol 589 cc767-8
Sir I. Horobin

I beg to move, in page 22, line 40, to leave out from "with" to the end of line 41 and to insert: the next following subsection. (4) Subsection (2) of the last preceding section shall apply for the purposes of the last preceding subsection as it applies for the purposes of that section, so however that the appropriate circumstances referred to in the said subsection (2), in relation to any year for which annual value falls to be determined for the purposes of the last preceding subsection shall be taken to be the circumstances which would have existed, immediately before the beginning of that year, if—

  1. (a) the compulsory rights order had not been made and the authorisation referred to in that order had not been granted and no application had been made for such an authorisation;
  2. (b) the land constituting the remainder of the holding had been in the state in which it was immediately before the operative date, and had been available for letting with vacant possession;
  3. (c) all other relevant factors had been as they actually were immediately before the beginning of that year".
The Amendment meets the point put to us by the National Farmers' Union. Hon. Members will recall that when we discussed the loss of amenity I pointed out that the annual value would take into account damage done from annoyance such as we have been discussing earlier and therefore compensation would to a very great extent be paid for it.

That was correct, but the National Farmers' Union pointed out that what we gave with one hand we were in danger of taking away with the other, which is not uncommon I am afraid in Government Departments. Under Clause 18, it may well be that the rent, having been reduced as the result of the loss of amenity, will mean a corresponding increase in profits, so that the farmers will get less compensation. That is obviously absurd and was not intended. As I explained to the Committee, what we intended was that they should receive compensation to the extent to which the annual value of their holdings was diminished by the opencast operations.

The Amendment overcomes the difficulty by providing that when we calculate profit on the rest of the holding it must be assumed that the rent of the rest of the holding is calculated as though there were no opencast coal working going on. That simply gets over the absurdity that we give them compensation on the one hand and then say, "You have made bigger profits" and take it all back again on the other. I hope that the Amendment will commend itself to the common sense of the House.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 22, line 42, leave out "the last preceding subsection" and insert: subsection (3) of this section".—[Sir I. Horobin.]