HC Deb 26 March 1968 vol 761 cc1153-4
30. Sir N. Cooper-Key

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will seek to amend the law whereby local authorities can, by withholding a formal declaration of unfitness far habitation, prevent a householder from challenging a report by a medical officer of health, which artificially lowers the value of the property causing financial hardship to the owner, and is to the ultimate advantage of a local authority which proceeds with a compulsory purchase order.

Mr. MacColl

My right hon. Friend has no evidence that authorities unreasonably delay their formal declaration of unfitness. However, he is engaged upon a comprehensive review of the legislation affecting older housing areas and he will make known his proposals during the spring.

Sir N. Cooper-Key

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Act allows a local authority to work a racket on the private householder? Will he pay immediate attention to the case which I have sent to him regarding a property known as the Piece of Cheese, in Hastings?

Mr. MacColl

That case was a very special case which involved other considerations. In general, there is no evidence that local authorities work a racket.