HC Deb 27 July 1977 vol 936 cc624-5
15. Mr. John Hunt

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is satisfied that existing planning legislation is adequate to deal with the noise and nuisance created by the establishment of temporary fairgrounds in residential areas.

Mr. Guy Barnett

Noise and nuisance, whether at temporary fairgrounds or elsewhere, are subject to control by other legislation rather than by planning law.

Mr. Hunt

Is the Minister aware that a funfair recently descended upon a field in West Wickham in my constituency? In the event, the disturbance to local residents was rather less than had originally been anticipated. However, does this not indicate the need for much stricter planning control over intrusions of this kind into predominantly residential areas?

Mr. Barnett

Although I spent my earliest years in West Wickham, I am not aware of the fair that has settled in a residential area. I maintain, however, that it would be inappropriate to extend planning law to deal with the matter. Instead, local authorities should serve an order under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 to deal with noise and should use the Public Health Acts 1961 and 1936 to deal with the litter and health hazards. I believe that those powers are adequate.

Mr. Hal Miller

Does the Minister realise that the public need protection against the local authorities? In my constituency a fair has descended on us. It has been impossible to hold church services because of the noise from generators, and there is serious concern about the complete lack of toilet facilities.

Mr. Barnett

Clearly, residents who feel that they are affected in this way should first make representations to their local authorities to use the powers that I have described. Failing that, they have the right to go to local magistrates if they cannot agree with the local authority about existence of a statutory nuisance.