HC Deb 11 November 1970 vol 806 cc387-8

The following Question stood upon the Order Paper: Mr. TUGENDHAT to ask the Secretary of State for the Environment why the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning Authorities in Greater London) Regulations 1965 and 1967 were not laid before Parliament until 10th November, 1970.

The Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Peter Walker)

I will, with permission, answer Written Question No. 69 which stands on today's Order Paper.

I regret to inform the House that through a most unfortunate oversight the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning Authorities in Greater London) Regulations made in 1965 and 1967 were not at that time laid before Parliament before coming into operation as required by the enabling legislation.

These Regulations, which govern the division of responsibility for development control between the G.L.C. and the London Borough Councils, were laid yesterday in their original form.

I am today introducing an Indemnity Bill to deal with the legal consequences of the failure to lay the Regulations. There is the further complication that inadvertently the Town and Country Planning Act, 1968, prospectively repeals the requirements to lay Regulations of this kind before Parliament, though no day has been appointed for the coming into force of this repeal. It is clearly right that regulations of this importance should be subject to a negative resolution in both Houses. This point is also put right in the Indemnity Bill.

Mr. Crosland

While I have no personal knowledge of what is evidently a most complicated question—brought to light, no doubt, by Lord Rothschild and his new unit—may I tell the Secretary of State that it seems to me that he is going about the matter in an entirely correct manner, and will have the wholehearted co-operation of the Opposition?

Mr. Walker

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman. I hope that he will always comment in similar fashion on all the statements I may make.

Mr. Tugendhat

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for his attention to the affairs of Greater London. Is he aware that this attention is much appreciated by Greater London and by individual boroughs?