HC Deb 18 July 1963 vol 681 cc868-9
Sir K. Joseph

I beg to move, in page 98, line 12, at the end to insert: (2) In formulating or considering any such proposals, river authorities and the Water Resources Board and any Minister having functions under this Act, having regard to the desirability of preserving public rights of access to areas of mountain, moor, heath, down, cliff or foreshore and other places of natural beauty, shall each take into account any effect which the proposals would have on the preservation of any such rights of access. During the Standing Committee proceedings, a number of hon. Members urged that considerations of access to areas of beauty and landscape should be one of the matters in the minds of the river authorities, of the Water Resources Board and of the Minister. My hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary gave an undertaking to see what could be done, and the Amendment is the result.

Miss Vickers

As one of those who, in Standing Committee, asked my right hon. Friend about amenities, I should like to take this opportunity of saying "Thank you". I was concerned with some Amendments in the Standing Committee, when I felt, in view of the very eloquent answers which I got from my right hon. Friend and also my hon. Friend, that I was lacking in knowledge of the matter and that my words were inadequate, but this is, undoubtedly, a very technical Bill.

I should like to thank my right hon. Friend for the Amendment, and to say how very interesting and constructive I have found the debates on the Bill and his answers and those of my hon. Friend during these proceedings. I thank my right hon. Friend for the consideration given to the various points which I raised. I think that this Amendment will be of great use to a great number of people. The country is getting more and more crowded and more and more built over. The fact that my right hon. Friend is to allow these amenities to be given to the general public will be very much welcomed. I hope that he will see that the various authorities concerned really understand the Amendment and will carry it out.

I hope that my right hon. Friend will continue to be Minister of Housing and Local Government for many years to come, and that other Ministers will read what he has said, and see the implications of this Amendment, and that they are carried out in future, for I am sure that they will be for the benefit of a great many people, and yet not in any way spoil the effect of what my right hon. Friend wishes to achieve by the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.