HC Deb 02 July 1982 vol 26 c1174

Lords amendment: No. 53, in page 28, line 28, after "it" insert "(a)".

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this amendment it will be convenient to take Lords amendments Nos. 54 to 61.

Mr. Macfarlane

Lords amendments Nos. 53 and 54 require demolishers to inform statutory undertakers of proposed demolition to enable the undertakers to consider in good time whether their services are likely to be effective and to take appropriate action with the person demolishing the building. There have been accidents in the past when persons have undertaken demolitions without being aware of gas and electricity services on the site and without, therefore, taking adequate precautions. These two amendments are intended to obviate that risk to public safety.

Under the clause as drafted, a £500 penalty can be imposed where the person carrying out the demolition has failed to notify the local authority of his intention to demolish. However, it does not cover the situation in which, even if such notification may have been given, demolition has begun before the local authority has served a notice containing conditions, or before the relevant period as defined has expired within which such a local authority notice may be served. It is considered important that there should be a penalty on persons who commence demolition in such cases and amendment No. 55 is designed to remedy that defect.

Amendment No. 56 is purely a drafting amendment.

With regard to amendment No. 57, the clause as drafted allows the local authority to serve a notice containing conditions only on a person who appears to be intending to begin a demolition to which section 29 of the 1961 Act applies, and not on a person who has already begun such a demolition. Amendment No 57 corrects that position by authorising a local authority to serve a notice in both circumstances.

Amendments Nos. 58 to 61 clarify that the requirements of section 29B(1) and (2)—to carry out work or break open any street to comply with a local authority notice—do not override or affect other statutory requirements relating to gas, electricity or water services or a demolisher's possible criminal or civil liability for damage to statutory undertakers' apparatus.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 54 to 61 agreed to.

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