HC Deb 08 March 1965 vol 708 cc14-5
18. Mr. J. E. B. Hill

asked the Minister of Land and Natural Resources whether, in framing legislation for the nationalisation of building land, he will exempt land which has already been acquired by a local authority and is intended to be developed for purposes for which planning approval has been given.

Mr. Willey

I anticipate the closest co-operation between the Land Commission and local authorities and accordingly I can foresee few circumstances in which the Commission might need land already owned by local authorities.

Mr. Hill

Would the right hon. Gentleman therefore not agree that it would be most inequitable to penalise those local authorities which are operating town development schemes, like Thetford in my constituency, for example, which have had the foresight to buy land in advance of their requirements with the object of mitigating the otherwise heavy burdens which town expansion places on the rates?

Mr. Willey

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that there will be the closest consultation with the local authorities.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

As the right hon. Gentleman says that it is unlikely that he or the Land Commission would wish to take action of this sort, would it not be simpler and better to give the assurance for which my hon. Friend asks?

Mr. Willey

No. I think that that would indicate a bureaucratic intervention in the work of the Land Commission.

Mr. Frederic Harris

Is the Minister seriously considering legislation to nationalise land, and, if so, does he expect to get through that sort of legislation before the next General Election?

Hon. Members


Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Does the right hon. Gentleman's previous reply mean that he will forswear all bureaucratic intervention in this sphere?

Mr. Willey

It merely meant what I said.