§ [Nos. 13 and 13A]
§ Clause 23, page 22, line 22, at end insert ("; provided that in the case of land on which there is at least one dwelling-house such resolution shall not be passed unless the purposes mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c) of section 12(1) of the Act of 1971 or paragraphs (a) to (c) of section 10(1) of the Scottish Act of 1972 (publicity in connection with the preparation of plans) have in the opinion of the authority been adequately achieved by the steps taken by the authority.")
§ The Commons disagreed to this Amendment for the following Reason:
§ Because it is unnecessary, having regard to the publicity which will have already been given in connection with the planning decisions on which the resolution is based.
§ Baroness BIRK
My Lords, I beg to move that the House doth not insist on their Amendment No. 13 to which the Commons have disagreed for the Reason numbered 13A: Because it is unnecessary, having regard to the publicity which will have already been given in connection with the planning decisions on which the resolution is based. This Amendment provides that an authority could not declare a disposal notification area which would include any dwelling-house unless they had first carried out adequate public participation as defined in Section 12(1), paragraphs (a) to (c), of the 1971 Act which deals with publicity in connection with the preparation of local plans.
We have had a great deal of discussion about DNAs and I believe, as the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor said when the Amendment was discussed in Committee, that there has been a genuine misunderstanding of the purposes and the effect of disposal notification areas. In providing for some prior procedure before a DNA can be declared, the Amendment assumes that the implications of declaring such an area would be wider than they in fact are.
The Amendment also appears to overlook a vital point which has been kept 1935 in the forefront of the Government's thinking in drafting this Bill. If procedures for considering the planning merits of acquisition were built into this legislation, then there must be a tendency for them to develop a significance of their own, quite apart from the procedures provided for in the planning Acts. If there were an opportunity for authorities to carry out public participation and then declare a DNA, some of them might claim that the planning issues had been adequately dealt with by this process and that therefore there was no need for further public participation or for a public inquiry under the planning Acts. The Amendment, therefore, weakens rather than strengthens the safeguard for owners of property in areas that are likely to be declared DNAs. As I have said, I believe that this is a genuine and basic misunderstanding of the proposals contained in the Bill and that rather than protect the planning system, which is one of the points upon which we are all agreed, the Amendment would weaken it. On that basis, I hope that noble Lords opposite will not press the Amendment.
§ Moved, That this House doth not insist on their Amendment No. 13 to which the Commons have disagreed for the Reason numbered 13A.—(Baroness Birk.)
§ Baroness YOUNG
My Lords, I accept the good faith of the noble Baroness when she says that there has been a genuine misunderstanding about DNAs. I am also prepared to accept that I may not completely have understood this Bill, but I do not believe that when the DNAs arrive there will be much public misunderstanding as to what they are all about. I do not find convincing the argument that because there has already been public consultation over a planning issue there need not be any further public consultation. I have always taken the view that as this is a Community Land Bill it would be so nice if the community could be consulted regularly about what is being done in its name. We are, of course, glad that some of the Amendments have been accepted by the Government. I am only sorry that this Amendment has not been accepted as well.