HC Deb 02 June 1960 vol 624 cc1719-21

7.45 p.m.

Mr. Temple

I beg to move, in page 14, line 17, at the end to insert: for an area which consists of or includes a National Park as defined by subsection (3) of section five of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949, or any part of such a National Park . This Clause gives local authorities power to provide caravan sites. Subsection (8), to which I seek to add these words, extends the meaning of the words "local authority" to include a county council and a joint planning board. There was discussion on this point in Committee and, with the support of the Association of Municipal Corporations, I moved that subsection (8) should be excluded. I believe that my right hon. Friend is in favour of an Amendment such as I am seeking to make.

The effect of the Amendment would be that county councils would still be able to exercise these powers but that a limitation would be placed upon the powers of joint planning boards, and joint planning boards would be able to provide and operate caravan sites only in National Parks in the same way as they have powers under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949.

I appreciate that hon. Members may think that the addition of these words at present is not necessary because there are no joint planning boards outside the National Parks, but the Local Government Act, 1958, made provision for a wide extension of joint planning boards, and it may be that, as a result of the Local Government Commission, joint planning boards will be introduced to exercise planning powers over the special review areas or the conurbation areas, as they are commonly known.

It is for that reason, and believing that it will not be in the best interests of all concerned for the power to be exercised by joint planning boards, having planning powers over an area which may comprise five or six county boroughs and a similar number of urban district councils, that I move the Amendment to restrict the definition in the Clause to county councils and to joint planning boards which have power in all or part of a National Park.

Mr. Short

I should like to support the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for the City of Chester (Mr. Temple). I have always had some doubt about giving joint planning boards this power. I believe that there is a case for it in respect of National Parks, but if other joint planning boards emerged I should be very doubtful about giving them all power to do this. Often there are rivalries between district councils and joint planning boards, and we do not want to do anything which may make them worse. I think that if we limit this power to joint planning boards in National Parks it might meet any fears about the future.

Mr. H. Brooke

I am glad to advise the House to accept the Amendment so clearly described by my hon. Friend.

Amendment agreed to.

Sir W. Wakefield

I beg to move, in line 17, at the end to insert: (9) This section extends to the administrative county of London and the expression "local authority" in this section as so extended includes the council of a metropolitan borough. Earlier this afternoon the House excluded London from Part I of the Bill. I now ask that the administrative county of London be included in Clause 20. The administrative county of London has not authority under the London County Council (General Powers) Act, 1959, to utilise the power under Clause 20—that of local authorities to provide sites for caravans. I hope that the Amendment is agreeable to the Government and the House. It will be seen that subsection (8) seeks to extend the definition of local authority by including the council of a county and a joint planning board. This Amendment seeks at the same time to include the administrative county of London.

Mr. H. Brooke

Following the new Clause which my hon. Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Sir W. Wakefield) moved earlier and which the House accepted, I think that it would be appropriate to make this Amendment. I imagine that the power would seldom, if ever, be used by London authorities, but it is quite reasonable that we should make the Amendment. I cannot see that it is in any way objectionable.

Amendment agreed to.