HC Deb 17 February 1971 vol 811 cc1816-7
14. Mr. Blaker

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to announce his proposals regarding the reform of the law regarding compensation for planning blight.

Mr. Peter Walker

We are carrying out a comprehensive review of the compensation code, but it is too early to say what changes in the law may be needed. As I told my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane) on 16th December, I shall make a statement when we have completed our review.—[Vol. 808, c. 1314.]

Mr. Blaker

While I recognise that the problems are very complex, is my right hon. Friend bearing in mind that every week more people are suffering anxiety and inconvenience, particularly in connection with road-building projects, owing to the unsatisfactory state of the law?

Mr. Walker

I am very well aware of this situation. Indeed, few constituencies are suffering more from it than my own.

Mr. Marsh

If the right hon. Gentleman cannot deal with the whole question of planning blight now, why is there so much delay in dealing with the problem of injurious affection, given that the Government inherited clear proposals from the last Government eight months ago in a draft Bill?

Mr. Walker

I do not consider that the proposals left to us were in any way clear. They did not deal comprehensively with the total problem. If we are to deal with the matter we must apply the same principles over the whole sphere.