HC Deb 22 May 1968 vol 765 cc789-92


Amendments made: No. 158, in page 66, line 26, leave out ' 3' and insert:

'(Approval or rejection of structure plan by Minister)'.—[Mr. Skeffington.]

Mr. Lubbock

I beg to move Amendment No. 159, in page 67, line 20, at end insert: 12A. The Greater London Council, before submitting to the Minister proposals for alterations to the structure plan, shall consult with the London borough councils and the Common

responsible Minister or Ministers' for the purposes of sections 51 and 52 of this Act—

  1. (a) in the case of a matter affecting England only, are those specified opposite in the second column of the Table;
  2. (b) in the case of a matter affecting Wales only, are those specified opposite in the third column of the Table; and
  3. (c) in the case of a matter affecting both England and Wales, are those specified opposite in the fourth column of the Table.

2. Where an entry in the second, third or fourth column of the Table specifies two or more Ministers, that entry shall be construed as referring to those Ministers acting jointly.

3. In relation to operational land of statutory undertakers, a reference in the Table to 'the appropriate Minister' shall be construed in accordance with the definition of that expression in section 221(1) of the principal Act.

Council or, in the case of alterations affecting only part of the area of Greater London, with such of those councils as are affected by the alterations, and shall give to each of those councils an opportunity to make representations with respect to the alterations and shall consider any representations so made.

In Greater London we have for some time felt that there has been uneasiness between the London boroughs, or some of them, and the Greater London Council on matters of planning, and this arises from the feeling in some of these Boroughs, that the Greater London Council is acting as a kind of "Big Brother" and interfering in matters which do not concern it.

In the London Government Act there is provision for all kinds of consultation between the Greater London Council and the London boroughs. These have not always worked as well as one would have hoped. It is my aim to secure some improvement in the drafting of the Bill so as to ensure that the relationships between the G.L.C. on the one hand, and the London boroughs on the other are as harmonious and as workable as they can be.

Under Clause 1 the Greater London Council will have to consult the Boroughs about any matters which they have to keep under review, as required by that Clause. Clause 4 is concerned with alterations to the structure plan, resulting from the additional surveys which have been conducted in Clause 1, but there is no similar obligation there on the Greater London Council. In Greater London there are special provisions relating to the structure plan, and that is what we are concerned with in this Schedule. As I understand it, the Greater London Development Plan, provided for under Section 25 of the London Government Act, 1963, will become the structure plan, when it is completed, and the repeal of that Section will not be effected by the Government until this plan has been approved. Under Section 26(2) of the Act the G.L.C. could have altered the Greater London Development Plan, but Section 27(3) of the Act would have required it to consult the Boroughs before doing so. In this Amendment I have copied, with minor alterations, the wording of Section 27(3) of the London Government Act, so that there is a duty upon the G.L.C. to consult with the various councils before making any alterations to the structure plan, or to consult with those of them which may be affected by any such alterations.

The Parliamentary Secretary knows that in my borough in particular there has been some anxiety on this. I have been in correspondence with him and he has given a most reassuring answer which, I am sure, the Borough of Bromley will be delighted to have. He said that on repeal of Section 27(3) of the London Government Act, his intention is that provision for consultation between the G.L.C. and the London Boroughs on amendment to the Greater London Development Plan and between the boroughs and the G.L.C. on amendments to borough structure plans when these are approved, shall be prescribed in regulations under Clause 11.

All I am asking the Parliamentary Secretary this morning is whether he does not think it would be a good thing to put these words in, to relieve him of the necessity of making regulations later.

Mr. Skeffington

I confirm that intention, as I wrote to him. It is not necessary to have the words in the Bill and it is better to have consultation by regulation or circular as is provided for elsewhere.

Mr. Lubbock

I am grateful for that assurance and I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Further Amendments made: No. 160 in page 67, line 28, leave out ' 5' and insert ' (Preparation of local plans)'.

No. 161, in page 67, line 40, leave out ' 5(4) and (6)' and insert ' (Preparation of local plans) (6) and (9)'.

No. 162, in page 67, line 44, leave out ' 5(7)' and insert ' Preparation of local plans) (10)'.

No. 163, in page 68, line 5, leave out ' 5(9)' and insert ' (Publicity for preparation of local plans) (2)'.

No. 164, in page 68, line 9, leave out ' 5' and insert ' (Preparation of local plans) or (Publicity for preparation of local plans)'.—[Mr. MacDermot.]

Forward to