HC Deb 07 July 1971 vol 820 cc1332-3
30. Mr. Costain

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will give an assurance that he will announce the results of his review of the code of compensation for compulsory purchase before the end of this year and that he introduce legislation to improve compensation during the life of this Parliament.

Mr. Peter Walker

As I told my hon. Friends the Members for Buckingham (Mr. Benyon) and Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker) on 12th May, I shall announce details of our proposals when our review has been concluded and I hope to introduce legislation at the earliest possible date.—[Vol. 817, c. 359–61.]

Mr. Costain

Will my right hon. Friend accept that when a house is compulsorily purchased, the occupant is giving up something for the benefit of the community? Is it not only reasonable to expect that he should receive enough compensation to allow him to buy a similar property? Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that the Chancellor is charging capital gains tax on these transactions, which makes this more difficult?

Mr. Walker

This is a complicated matter. We are examining the problem in great depth, and we will publish proposals as soon as possible.

Mr. Tinn

Would the Minister look at the powers and practices of some local authorities in encouraging house owners to move out of their property some weeks in advance of a visit by the district valuer, who visits the property after vandals have taken their toll, with the consequence that the resultant valuation inflicts a grave injustice on the owners?

Mr. Walker

I have not been contacted about this particular practice, but if the hon. Gentleman would like to give me details, I will certainly look into it.