HC Deb 28 June 1965 vol 715 cc7-8
12. Mr. R. W. Elliott

asked the Minister of Land and Natural Resources if he will take steps to require local authorities to apply similar provisions of purchase at market value to property threatened by possible development, as applies to property in areas which are designated for development.

Mr. Willey

Local authorities are required to buy certain classes of property when its value is depreciated by designation for development under the "blight" provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1962. It would put an impossible burden on authorities to extend these provisions so as to require them to buy any property whose value was affected by possible development.

Mr. Elliott

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a very real problem here in that there are often vast areas which will be possible areas of redevelopment? Is he aware that in the City of Newcastle, for instance, there are three possible schemes for the Jesmond Road-Stephenson Road Motorway? Does he realise that this is having a frightful effect on the value of properties in all three possible areas? Will he look at this to see if he can do something about the protection of house-owners who wish to sell in such circumstances?

Mr. Willey

I am aware of the problem. I think the 1962 Act struck a balance. However, if the hon. Gentleman wishes me to look at the cases to which he has referred me I will do so.

Mr. Corfield

Will the Minister bear in mind that local authorities have powers to purchase in advance of requirements, even though the case does not actually fall within the definition in the Act to which he has referred? Will he encourage them to do so where hardship arises, and pay the same value which they would do if the "blight" provisions were in operation?

Mr. Willey

This is a case where one has to strike a balance and not impose too heavy a financial load on the local authorities. Again, if the hon. Gentleman wishes to call attention to a case in which he thinks there is hardship I will look at it.

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