HC Deb 21 July 1961 vol 644 cc1651-2

Lords Amendment: In page 21, line 40, at end insert: (3) No person shall erect or alter any structure designed to contain or divert the flood-waters of any part of the main river except with the consent of and in accordance with plans and sections approved by the river board.

Mr. Vane

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

During our earlier discussions there was considerable force behind the arguments adduced in the House that we should pay more regard to structures not only over watercourses, but also in what are called the Washlands. We discussed the question at some length, and it has been found possible to go some way to help those who felt that insufficient regard had been paid to that problem in the Bill.

There are certain structures which would not be subject to planning pro- visions in the ordinary sense. We have provided that river boards will have control over the construction of structures designed to contain or divert the floodwaters in these Washlands in the same way as they have control over the bridges or structures crossing their main watercourses. I hope that it will go same way to meet the problem, which we accept as being a real problem but which we felt it impossible to deal with in the Bill, as some hon. Members suggested that we ought.

Mr. Peart

I am glad that the Parliamentary Secretary has accepted the Amendment. There was force in the argument that we must pay more regard to structures over watercourses—he referred to the Washlands—and here the river boards will have control. I accept the argument advanced during the long Committee stage that bridges are covered by the provisions, but here was an exception in this important Clause which deals with the restriction on the erection of structures over or under watercourses. We have tightened up the provisions—meaning that we have improved them—and we are giving the river boards an authority which it is right that they should have.

Question put and agreed to.