§ 2 and 3. Mr. Robert Cooke
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government (1) whether he will amend the building regulations so that planning authorities have discretion to waive their requirements when applied to buildings listed as being of historic or architectural interest;
(2) whether he will amend the building regulations so that they do not apply to buildings constructed before either 1850 or alternatively 1650.
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Robert Mellish)
The requirements of the regulations can be relaxed in any particular case, and there is a right of appeal if the local authority refuses an application for relaxation. My right hon. Friend does not think it would be right to go further in these cases.
§ Mr. Cooke
Will the Parliamentary Secretary keep a very close eye on it? Is he aware that some planning officers act like little Hitlers in this matter and apply regulations to the letter? Many old buildings which could be homes for people lie unused and others are ruined 1123 in the process of bringing them up to date?
§ Mr. Mellish
I undertake that my Ministry will give all the help it can. If the hon. Gentleman has any particular case in mind and will consult us, we shall be glad to discuss the matter with him.
§ Mr. Hall-Davis
Will the Joint Parliamentary Secretary bring his reply to the notice of local authorities and local planning officers? I am sure that this is not known and is causing great difficulty.