§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ 2.34 p.m.
THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (LORD MERTHYR)
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. In the case of this Bill I am making a statement under Standing Order 91, because I understand that several Members of the House are interested in Bills which authorise the sale of a burial ground for possible development. Clause 5 of the Bill provides that the burial ground may be dealt with or disposed offor building or for any other purpose in like manner as if no part thereof had ever been used or set apart for the purpose of burial of human remains.The effect of this is that the specific fetter on development imposed by the Disused Burial Grounds Act, 1884, is removed; but nothing in the Bill exempts the land from the general law relating to town and country planning.
There is a similar clause in the Manchester Corporation Bill which is down for Second Reading to-morrow. 62 This, again, seeks to remove the fetter on development imposed by the fact that the land is a churchyard. Here again the general law of town and country planning will apply as if the churchyard were an ordinary open space, and therefore the Bill does not of itself give authority to build. A similar question arises in the St. Peter's Church, Nottingham, Churchyard Bill which is down for Second Reading on Wednesday next. Clause 5 seeks to free part of a churchyard from the curb on development imposed by the fact that it is a churchyard. Clauses 4 and 6 of the Nottingham Bill, however, enable part of the churchyard and the site of the vestry to be used for the erection of a building for use as a vestry, parish hall and centre of religious instruction.
These last two clauses differ from the Bolton and Manchester Bills, in that they expressly authorise certain development. Should the provisions pass, they are still within the general law of town and country planning, and permission for development would have to be obtained; but the power of the local planning authority to refuse such permission would in this case be limited, because the development would fall under Class XII of the General Development Order. This means that the planning authority could not refuse permission to build unless they were satisfied (if I may summarise the position) that the design of the building would injure the amenities or that the building ought to be erected on some other part of the land.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Merthyr.)
§ 2.37 p.m.
§ LORD CHORLEY
My Lords, some of us, as the noble Lord has said, are a little worried about how far the provisions of this Bill go. I am glad the noble Lord has been able to give us this assurance; but this is obviously an important matter and I think some noble Lords would like to have the opportunity of considering rather more closely what the noble Lord has said. It might be convenient to give us that opportunity by postponing the Second Reading for a short period.
My Lords, if I may intervene at once, I may say that I should be happy to adjourn considera- 63 tion of this matter, and, if it be the wish of the House, I should like to move that the debate on this Motion be now adjourned. I understand that several noble Lords would like to say something on the Bill, but I do not think it would be convenient to do it this afternoon. I therefore beg to move that this debate be now adjourned.
§ Moved, That the debate be now adjourned.—(Lord Merthyr.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to, and debate adjourned accordingly.