HC Deb 17 February 1970 vol 796 cc255-6
Dr. Dickson Mabon

I beg to move Amendment No. 11, in page 4, line 31, at end insert and any other body acting under statutory powers which, in the opinion of the highway authority, may be affected by the works'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this Amendment we can discuss Amendments No. 12 and No. 46.

Dr. Mabon

These three Amendments have been put down in fulfilment of a Government undertaking in Committee on 20th January, as reported at c. 144 of the OFFICIAL REPORT, to provide for consultation before diversion of other work on water courses is carried out. An Opposition Amendment, which the hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Wylie) confessed was defective, was withdrawn. In this happy state of connubial bliss, I am happy to accept the sense of that Amendment.

The addition to subsection (3) of Clause 7 will require the highway authority to consult any statutory body which it thinks will be affected. This would cover such bodies as fishery boards, dock and harbour authorities, rail and canal authorities, the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, and so on. The two new subsections (4) and (5) which are to be inserted in Clause 7 are modelled on the corresponding provisions in Clause 10(3) and (4). Subsection (4) will provide that a highway authority before carrying out work shall notify the owner and occupier and give 28 days' notice for objection. Subsection (5) will provide that a highway authority which receives objections from an owner or occupier shall refer the matter to the Secretary of State, who may consent to the works, with or without conditions, or may refuse consent.

The Amendment to Clause 37 is consequential on the above Amendments and also refers to the similar provisions in Clause 10. Clause 37—dealing with powers of entry—allows authorised persons to enter on the land for the purpose of carrying out certain works or surveys after giving seven days' notice to the occupier. The Amendment ensures that under Clauses 9 and 10 there is no entry before the end of the 28 days' objection period.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I thank the Minister of State for accepting the principle of the Amendments which we put forward in Committee. We admitted that they were not completely correct. We are grateful to the hon. Gentleman for accepting the principle. This shows the value of the constructive work which we on this side of the House did in Committee.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: Amendment No. 12, in line 31, at end insert— (4) Before carrying out any works under this section the highway authority shall serve notice of their intention on the owners and the occupier of the land concerned together with a description of the proposed works and of the right to object thereto within 28 days after the service of the notice. (5) Where the highway authority is a local authority and within the said period of 28 days the owner or the occupier objects to the proposed works, and that objection is not withdrawn, the local highway authority shall not proceed to execute the works without consent aftermentioned but may refer the matter for the determination of the Secretary of State who may grant consent to the proposed works either unconditionally or subject to such terms and conditions as he thinks just, or who may withhold his consent, and the decision of the Secretary of State on this matter shall be final.—[Dr. Dickson Mabon.]

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