HC Deb 18 February 1969 vol 778 cc200-1
24. Mr. Rossi

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what further progress he has made in his study of the proposals for compensation on compulsory acquisition submitted to him by the Chartered Lands Society; and whether he will make a statement.

39. Mr. Grant

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what studies are currently in progress into the effects of planning blight.

Mr. K. Robinson

As I told my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, North (Mr. E. Rowlands) and the hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. Hunt) on 17th December, we are still studying this issue. But the problems are complex and necessarily take time.—[Vol. 775, c. 1144–5.]

Mr. Rossi

Does not the right hon. Gentleman recognise that there are still very wide areas of hardship, particularly for small traders, who lose their livelihood? Does he not think it ludicrous that he has spent over a year considering this report, particularly in view of the way in which public feeling is rising over this very unfair matter?

Mr. Robinson

No, I do not think it is ludicrous. I think it is eminently prudent, because compensation is an extremely complicated problem which affects many interests, both public and private. Any changes in the present code must need very careful consideration.

Mr. Doughty

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that although compulsory purchase is necessary it must and should include an element of displacement—that is, the incidental and proper expenses to which a dispossessed person has been put—and not merely the fair price between seller and buyer?

Mr. Robinson

Yes, Sir. This is one of the issues which is being considered in the review which is being conducted.

Mr. Wellbeloved

Will my right hon. Friend discourage local authorities from seeking Parliamentary consent to extend their powers of compulsory acquisition due to the unsatisfactory state of the law in respect of compensation?

Mr. Robinson

I should like to consider that proposition.