HL Deb 26 March 1985 vol 461 cc904-36

4.58 p.m.

Report received.

Clause 1 [Change in functions of Commission]:

Lord Sandford moved Amendment No. 1: Page 1, line 13, after ("order") insert ("or by any direction made under a development order in relation to a National Park").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 1 and to speak at the same time to Amendment No. 3, which is also in my name: Amendment No. 3: Page 1, line 17, at end insert ("or the date on which the direction was confirmed." ").

I hasten to say straight away that I hope to be able to withdraw both amendments after we have had assurances from my noble friend on the Front Bench about the way in which Her Majesty's Government propose to deal with the matters we are discussing on this Bill in regard to the countryside.

My own belief is that the intention expressed by way of a letter from Mr. William Waldegrave to the Chairman of the Countryside Commission on 31st January, in which he indicated that the Government had it in mind to introduce landscaped area special development orders, is much the best way forward and that it would not be appropriate to seek further amendments to this Bill or, at the moment, to contemplate the extension of full planning control to farm and forestry buildings and roads, as had originally been recommended by the Countryside Commission as one of the conclusions of its uplands debate.

5 p.m.

However, the assurances that I have received so far, both on Second Reading and at the Committee stage, about the Government's will and determination to introduce these landscaped area special development orders have been unsatisfactory. It has been 35 years since provision was made for these orders and I think the House deserves to have particularly strong assurances that we can rely on their introduction to deal with matters in the countryside which are very vexatious when it comes to the planning control of farm buildings.

I want to start the few remarks which I shall make about this amendment by paying tribute to the growing sensitivity of the farming community at large on all matters to do with conservation. I should also like to pay particular tribute to the farming and wildlife advisory groups which are now established in every county in England and Wales and in the regions of Scotland. It is good to be able to rely on the good sense and good taste of so many farmers to such a large extent, but total reliance on grace is impractical and unrealistic in this imperfect world.

On Second Reading, we heard a lot about the notorious mushroom grower near Lancaster spoiling an area of outstanding natural beauty there with five enormous sheds standing up on the landscape; and there are unsightly chicken houses, smelly pig rearing sheds, intrusive fish farming buildings and pseudo-farm buildings which are put up as agricultural buildings but which are being used for other purposes. All that can be controlled by legislation, but by the introduction of Article 4 directions which carry with them heavy liabilities to compensation from the planning authorities, and it is undesirable from all kinds of points of view that that system should be applied more extensively.

However, this Bill obliges the House to consider the code of compensation, and how it operates in the countryside, in connection with the planning constraints put on buildings and developments which are not normally subject to planning control; and work on this Bill has shown up a number of abuses of the system, some in the towns and some in the countryside. It has shown up the weakness of the planning authorities in contending with these abuses and, worst of all, it has revealed a number of loopholes that can be exploited, and a number of academic sureveyors and planners—and I have given my noble friend on the Front Bench details of these—who are contemplating seminars designed to help developers and farmers exploit those loopholes.

So the issue before the House is: which remedies can he incorporated in this Bill to deal with all these abuses in town and country, which can wait for further legislation and which are better dealt with by other means? My view is that in the countryside they can nearly always be dealt with by other means, and that is largely by the application of landscaped area special development orders. I look forward with interest to hearing what my noble friend on the Front Bench has to give me by way of assurances that the Government agree with this view. My Lords, I beg to move.

Lord Middleton

My Lords, when we were in Committee I explained at some length why I was worried about bringing into this Bill the question of compensation where Article 4 directions might be made affecting development in the countryside, and I should say in parenthesis that I am glad, therefore, that Amendment No. 4 has been drafted so as to refer to directions made solely in the urban context. But the amendment of my noble friend Lord Sandford, to take it at its face value, refers to possible directions in an agricultural context, albeit within the boundaries of a national park.

I do not propose to repeat what I said in Committee. For one thing, my noble friend is well aware of the agricultural worries about Article 4 directions, and, secondly, he has told us just now that the underlying purpose of his amendment is to raise again the question of development control in sensitive rural areas. He explained to us in Committee, and he has told us again just now, that he was not in sympathy with the idea advocated recently by the Countryside Commission in its uplands report that there should be further planning controls over agricultural development, and he has also explained to us that, in his view, a move by the Government towards an extension of the landscaped area special development order, LASDO, procedure is overdue and he would like to accelerate such a move.

As I understand it—and, indeed, my noble friend Lord Avon said so in Committee—the LASDO and its extension is under consideration and I presume that the Government's proposals will shortly appear for consultation. I understand my noble friend's wish that this should happen quickly, but I should have thought that the appropriate occasion for a detailed debate about procedures in national parks arises when we have had time to digest the Government's new proposals in their consultation paper. I think my noble friend accepts that altering a Bill dealing with compensation under the planning Acts is not the right way to improve these procedures, and with that I agree. Therefore, I do not support this amendment. But, having said that, I understand what my noble friend is trying to achieve and I support him in his broad purpose.

Lord Stanley of Alderley

My Lords, before my noble friend replies may I say something? I should first like to apologise to the House for not being present at the previous stage, but I have read every word that your Lordships have said. I have sympathy with my noble friend Lord Sandford for having to wait 35 years. I support my noble friend Lord Middleton and ask whether my noble friend Lord Sandford could perhaps wait another month or two until we get the consultation paper.

If we are to rely on landscaped area special development orders, there are one or two points that worry me. One is that in the areas where they are in existence now—the Peak, Snowdon and the Lake District—there is no provision for compensation. I know that my noble friend will jump at me and say that there is provision, but it is discretionary, and in today's climate I fear that "discretionary" means that you do not get the grants. That certainly worries me and I hope that when this consultation paper comes out this matter will be made much clearer. That is really my main concern.

There are other anomalies, whereby the order appears to apply to farm buildings and farming operations but not to other operations, and we have to be very careful that we are not discriminating against the farmer and letting off the second home, freeing it of any restriction. That would be a dangerous path to go down. Those are the only two points that I wanted to make, and I hope that my noble friend on the Front Bench will take them on board. Otherwise, I am grateful for my noble friend's kind remarks about the farming industry.

Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran

My Lords, may I very briefly support what the noble Lord, Lord Stanley of Alderley, and the noble Lord, Lord Middleton, said. My view is that perhaps the noble Lord, Lord Sandford, is a little premature in pressing this matter quite so hard as he has done, because there is a promise by the Government to issue a consultation paper. Therefore, it seems more appropriate to discuss this kind of matter when the consultation paper has been issued and discussed.

I must declare an interest in that I am involved with property—partly agricultural and partly a large house which is open to the public in the Lake District in a national park. From what I gather, national park farmers would not be very pleased to have the rather rigid regulations, as adumbrated by the noble Lord, Lord Sandford, imposed upon them.

Lord Skelmersdale

My Lords, the effect of this amendment would be to restrict compensation for an adverse planning decision following the making of an Article 4 direction in relation to land in a national park. The question of Article 4 directions was discussed very fully during Committee stage, and we heard a great deal about the fears of the farming community, and the risk that an amendment of this kind would simply provoke a flood of planning applications from landowners in the affected areas who were seeking to beat the 12 months deadline. The amendment would be likely to encourage the widespread use of Article 4 directions to control development in national parks, and this would be a major shift in the present balance between planning authorities, landowners and conservation interests. The Government do not consider that this is the right way to tackle my noble friend's problem, particularly when there has been no opportunity for consultation and public discussion on the very wide-ranging implications.

My noble friend was good enough to give advance notice of this amendment, and indicate, as he said in his speech, that his main purpose in putting it down was to seek clarification of the present position on the Landscape Areas Special Development Order, which represents an alternative approach to the control of development in national parks and other sensitive areas. I can assure him that it is the Government's firm intention, as stated by my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Mr. Waldegrave, in a letter to the chairman of the Countryside Commission on 31st January, to which my noble friend referred, to issue a consultation paper proposing to extend the scope of the existing Landscape Areas Special Development Order.

At present this order enables a local authority only to control the design and external appearance of agricultural and forestry buildings in the limited areas to which it applies. The proposal will be to extend these controls to cover the siting of those buildings; the siting and design of private roads on farm and forestry land; and to extend those controls to all national parks. Officials are actively working on the preparation of the consultation paper and we hope to issue it very shortly. I am sure that it will generate useful and lively responses which will enable us to evaluate the arguments for and against the extension and to consider whether we have the details of our proposals right.

If the House had any doubt on this need to consult it has only to contrast the speeches of my noble friends Lord Sandford and Lord Middleton, and take into account of course the views of my noble friend Lord Stanley of Alderley and of the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran. It may also be appropriate to refer to the arrangements for recompensing farmers for any additional costs that they might have to pay if the local authority imposes higher design standards on them under the order. I must stress that the order does not withdraw permitted development rights available to farmers under the general development order; it merely imposes an additional requirement upon them. Therefore, the compensation provisions of Section 165 of the 1971 Act, which we have been discussing, do not apply because there is no withdrawal of the permission in the development order.

However, the National Parks Policies Review Committee, which my noble friend chaired, recommended that in selected cases farmers should be assisted in meeting the extra costs incurred as a result of meeting the stringent design standards appropriate in the national parks. This is a concept rather different from that embodied in Section 165. It aims to give help with additional costs which arise because the national parks authority wishes the farmer to do something extra, as distinct from compensating a developer for expenditure which becomes abortive because he cannot do what he would previously have been permitted to do. This point was raised in the speech of my noble friend Lord Stanley of Alderley.

I should tell my noble friend that the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 set up the mechanism for meeting these additional costs. Section 44 of that Act gives county planning authorities powers to give grants or loans for purposes which they consider to be conducive to the conservation and enjoyment of the national parks comprised in their areas, and enables them to make such grants or loans subject to such conditions as they think fit. As an alternative, farm capital grant may also be available towards modifications of proposals requested by national park authorities where such proposals are notified to them under administrative arrangements. I am satisfied that these provisions are adequate to ensure a flexible means of providing appropriate recompense for farmers for any additional costs they may incur.

I hope that what I have said will reassure my noble friend Lord Sandford about the Government's continued commitment to the protection of national parks. Our resolve to amend the Landscape Areas Special Development Order has not weakened in any way, and I trust that this statement of our intentions will enable my noble friend to withdraw his amendment.

5.15 p.m.

Lord Sandford

My Lords, I am most grateful to my noble friend on the Front Bench for those assurances which certainly are comprehensive.

It is of course quite true, as the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran, said, that in a sense it is premature to discuss a proposal before we have the consultation paper on which to do so. Equally, it would have been wrong to allow a Bill dealing with compensation under the planning laws to go through this House without having considered and debated whether it ought to be amended in any shape or form to deal with both the problems which already exist and are conspicuous in the countryside by virtue of their unattractiveness, and with the abuses and weaknesses of the planners and the loopholes which all this publicity will open up. But having done so, I am still of the view that the Landscape Areas Special Development Order is the right way forward and further amendment of this Bill in order to deal with abuses in the countyside is not to be recommended.

However, I would not want to end these remarks and move on to the urban aspects of the Bill without saying to the farmers and landowners in the House that they really must not underestimate the weight of public disquiet and the sense of injustice. I am now recording the views of chairmen of district councils all over the country who find it very difficult to justify to their citizens at large some of the enormities that farmers and country landowners get away with in the countryside. This is a very privileged category of businessman and they really must learn to live in an environment that is a little less privileged and a little nearer the climate in which ordinary citizens who pay their rates and have to face the planners have to live and earn their living. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran moved Amendment No. 2: Page 1, line 15, after ("twelve months") insert ("or 24 months in respect of agricultural buildings, works and uses").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the purpose of Amendment No. 2 is to give some relief to farmers and those concerned with agricultural buildings, works and uses, from the very necessary and essential draconian powers which this Bill proposes to exercise to deal with a very serious loophole in Section 165 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971. At the Committee stage we heard in particular from the noble Viscount, Lord Craigavon, of the serious difficulties for local authorities which arise because of that loophole where, for instance, penthouses are to be put on the top of buildings which were there in 1948; in other words, the loophole related to the adding of further flats to blocks of flats which were there in 1948.

This Bill went through very quickly in the other place, as might be expected in view of the urgency but, as is inevitable when a Government are trying to deal with one mischief and do not limit the powers in the Bill to that particular mischief, sometimes it has an effect which is broader than is necessary. I suggest a very small but significant and important amendment involving farmers, with regard to the limitations for compensation for unavoidable losses. There is a period of 12 months in the Bill at the present time; a period of 12 months from the date of changes in the permitted development rights. At present, as your Lordships will be aware, there are large numbers of rights which are permitted. The object of the Bill is to provide that a period of 12 months shall be given where planning consent is withheld; provided an application is made in 12 months, the question of compensation may be dealt with. Twelve months is too short in the case of farmers who, as so many of your Lordships will know, carry out sequential developments, often under the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Scheme of the Ministry of Agriculture. This scheme encourages a planned approach through a sequence of related developments to be implemented over a six-year period. Naturally, such plans are conceived at the outset in the light of prevailing planning requirements, and, if these subsequently change, as is the purpose of this Bill, then the whole of the development plan could be rendered unviable. Therefore, in this amendment I am asking for a slightly longer timescale. Do not limit the farmers to 12 months. Let them have 24 months instead of 12, because of the special circumstances under which they carry on their very important industry.

As your Lordships know, and as I mentioned during Committee stage, in parts of Wales with which I am very familiar dairy farming is being given up and sheep farming is replacing it, for reasons I need not go into at present; and even sheep farming is being replaced by the breeding of horses. In those parts of Wales where I come from, for small farmers 100 acres is a large farm. If the period is limited to 12 months it means that farmers will be put at a great disadvantage. Twenty-four months is far more reasonable, therefore, for farmers in relation to their agricultural development. At the Committee stage the Government indicated that some delay might be possible from an administrative point of view in a way which I could not quite understand. What I propose is that the Bill shall include a statement that the period shall be, 24 months in respect of agricultural buildings, works and uses I therefore beg to move.

Lord Stanley of Alderley

My Lords, it will come as no surprise to your Lordships that I support the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran, in this amendment, except that I should prefer the limit to be even longer, but then I suspect that my noble friend Lord Sandford will say that that is because I consider myself privileged.

I cannot follow the argument put forward by my noble friend Lord Avon in Committee that 12 months gives farmers an adequate basis. As I know only too well, farmers have better things to do than wade through piles of paper. Indeed, even if they could understand the planning law—I think few of your Lordships understand it, let alone the average farmer—for these people in agriculture 12 months, as the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran, said, is a minuscule time for them to understand it and put in their application.

Much more important is what will those farmers do who realise the urgency of the 12 months' period? I think they will be very much encouraged to put in detailed plans in advance. I am certainly not against advanced planning and, indeed, budgeting, but I know that I have yet to draw up a plan for a farm building that I have not radically changed later on, and it might even be changed while the bricks are going up.

Frankly, the proposal of the Government seems to me to lack pragmatism. At the Committee stage, I noted that my noble friend Lord Avon, in column 1229, said—and the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran, referred to it—that he would be prepared to enlarge the period of the timescale when it went through Parliament—I think he said the lead time between the laying of the order before Parliament and its coming into effect. I am asking my noble friend if he will expand on those remarks, as requested by the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran. Can he give an assurance that maybe the period will be 24 months for this lead time, or, at the very least, 12 months? However, a much simpler answer would be to accept the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran.

The Earl of Radnor

My Lords, I would like briefly to support the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran. I really think that for development and planning in farming terms 12 months is verging on the ridiculous. As my noble friend Lord Sandford said, 24 months is far too short a time. Both noble Lords covered the matter very well, so I would add only one thing, perhaps for the good name of the farming community.

I should hate your Lordships to feel that the whole matter was in any way linked to the giving of grants. I think this extra time is necessary in the farming world because of the general farming situation. As I see it, grants from the farming and horticultural side are there—it is a peripheral reason. The real reason is that farming just cannot be planned in this very, very short timescale. It is really totally unrealistic, and I strongly support the amendment.

The Duke of Atholl

My Lords, I, too, should like to support the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran, but I should also like to ask the noble Lord why has he not put down an equivalent amendment to the Scottish clause, Clause 2 of the Bill? It seemed to me unfair that in England one would have a period of 24 months, as a result of his amendment being accepted while in Scotland it would be only 12 months.

Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran

My Lords, if I may just answer that, I would never dare to enter into Scottish legal matters!

Lord Skelmersdale

My Lords, perhaps on that note I may respond. I recognise the concern of the noble Lord about whether 12 months is long enough to submit a planning application following the revocation or modification of a development order relating to agricultural development. I have also read and was listening to the debate on this point, or a similar one, on the Committee stage of the Bill. I observe that the noble Lord has reduced his level of demand since the Committee stage, when he asked for the period to be extended to 36 months, which I am sure was in the minds of many of my noble friends behind me.

The position of the Government on any extension is quite simple, in that we consider that such compensation should only be paid to a person who has in some way incurred expenditure on the basis of the permission granted by the development order before it was revoked or modified, and that compensation should not be paid simply because a landowner might have wished to exercise his rights under the order at some time in the future.

We believe that the most practical way to achieve this is by a time limit, and that a period of 12 months gives adequate time for those who have already begun to incur expenditure on a scheme to submit their planning applications. Any longer period will encourage landowners to work up artificial schemes which were not on the stocks when the development order was revoked or modified, and which are designed to obtain compensation rather than planning permission. Indeed, the noble Baroness, Lady Birk, argued during Committee stage that because of this risk there should be no period of grace at all.

There may be one or two types of development, and this I readily accept, for which 12 months is not long enough to work up and submit a planning application. But I cannot accept that all agricultural development comes into this category. Does it take more than 12 months to prepare a planning application for a barn or a glasshouse? In the latter case, I speak from practical experience when I ask this rhetorical question. If the problem is that the proposed development forms part of a five-year plan, it should be remembered that the only requirement is to make the planning application within 12 months and if permission is granted it need not be implemented for up to five years.

The noble Lord, Lord Lloyd, mentioned sequential plans for agricultural development. If plans have already been made, we can see no reason why a planning application shall not be made within 12 months, whenever the development is actually implemented. As for the point made by my noble friend Lord Stanley, surely a farmer's advisers—his architects and so on—can be expected to know planning laws and to know when a change takes place. Also, very unusually, my noble friend has undervalued the expert role which the National Farmers' Union plays in advising the agricultural industry.

I realise that the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd, is concerned about very large schemes. My answer is that if we are taking away development order rights, there is invariably a consultation period which puts on warning those who may be affected. If this is still insufficient—and I agree that this could be the case if the general development order were amended to tighten up control over types of develpment with a particularly long lead time—we can quite easily provide for the amendment order to come into operation three or six months, say, after it is laid, so effectively providing an additional period of grace.

My noble friend Lord Stanley asked me to expand on what was said by my noble friend Lord Avon at Committee stage. My noble friend Lord Stanley asked also whether this provision would effectively give an extra 12 or 24 months, or whatever. I am unable to enter into a commitment on this, but, as I have said, there will be, in addition to delaying the order, extra time given because of the consultation period.

When my noble friend Lord Avon spoke in Committee about the three-month or six-month delay in the operation of the amendment order, I am not sure whether he pointed out to the Committee that this is precisely what we did when we amended the general development order to secure greater control over hazardous development. Whether or not he did so, I consider that it is a much better and more selective way of dealing with the noble Lord's problems and that a blanket increase for all agricultural development is not justified.

I am, however, prepared to give an undertaking that my right honourable friend the Secretary of State will have regard to the compensation implications when he is considering the appropriate operative date of any amendment to the general development order which will have the effect of restricting permitted developments. I hope that the noble Lord will be able to accept this as a reasonable response to his amendment.

Lord Middleton

My Lords, I have not spoken to this amendment so far because in contrast to some of my noble friends I accept that the basis of this Bill is that compensation should be paid only when the landowner has begun to incur expenditure on the basis of the development order permission before it is taken away. I accept that. What I do not accept as a reason for resisting the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd, is that landowners are likely to submit claims for compensation for schemes that they have no intention whatever of carrying out. I do not accept that as a good reason for resisting the amendment.

Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran

My Lords, I am grateful to those who have spoken in favour of my amendment. Indeed, everyone who has spoken, with the exception of the Minister, has been in favour of my amendment. I must say in passing that I regret very much that the Government should have adopted such an unsympathetic approach to this matter as that indicated in at least the first part of the Minister's reply. In view of the support I have received from everybody else who has spoken, I shall take the opinion of the House.

5.34 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 2) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 55; Not-Contents, 150.

Airedale, L. McNair, L.
Amherst, E. Mais, L.
Ampthill, L. Milverton, L.
Atholl, D. Mottistone, L.
Aylestone, L. Munster, E.
Barnett, L. Ogmore, L.
Beswick, L. Radnor, E.
Blease, L. Raglan, L.
Chitnis, L. Rathcreedan, L.
Coleraine, L. Ritchie of Dundee, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L. Roberthall, L.
Energlyn, L. Robson of Kiddington, B.
Ennals, L. Rochester, L.
Evans of Claughton, L. Seear, B.
Falkland, V. Shackleton, L.
Foot, L. Shinwell, L.
Gladwyn, L. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Grey, E. [Teller.] Stedman, B.
Hampton, L. Stewart of Fulham, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L. Stodart of Leaston, L.
Hayter, L. Stone, L.
Howie of Troon, L. Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Hunter of Newington, L. Tordoff, L.
Ilchester, E. Willis, L.
Kilmarnock, L. Wilson of Langside, L.
Kirkhill, L. Winstanley, L.
Lloyd of Hampstead, L. Winterbottom, L.
Lloyd of Kilgerran, L. [Teller.]
Airey of Abingdon, B. Denham, L. [Teller.]
Alexander of Tunis, E. Dilhorne, V.
Allerton, L. Donegall, M.
Ardwick, L. Drumalbyn, L.
Auckland, L. Ellenborough, L.
Bauer, L. Elliot of Harwood, B.
Belhaven and Stenton, L. Elton, L.
Beloff, L. Elwyn-Jones, L.
Belstead, L. Ewart-Biggs, B.
Bernstein, L. Falkender, B.
Bessborough, E. Ferrier, L.
Birk, B. Fortescue, E.
Blyton, L. Fraser of Kilmorack, L.
Boardman, L. Gainford, L.
Bottomley, L. Gallacher, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L. Galpern, L.
Bruce of Donington, L. Gardner of Parkes, B.
Buckinghamshire, E. Glanusk, L.
Caccia, L. Gowrie, E.
Caithness, E. Graham of Edmonton, L.
Cameron of Lochbroom, L. Gray of Contin, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L. Greenway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L. Gridley, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B. Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L.
Cathcart, E.
Chelwood, L. Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L. Henley, L.
Colville of Culross, V. Home of the Hirsel, L.
Constantine of Stanmore, L. Hornsby-Smith, B.
Cork and Orrery, E. Hughes, L.
Cottesloe, L. Hylton-Foster, B.
Craigmyle, L. Ironside, L.
David, B. Irving of Dartford, L.
Davidson, V. Kimberley, L.
Davies of Leek, L. Kintore, E.
De La Warr, E. Kitchener, E.
Dean of Beswick, L. Lauderdale, E.
Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B. Renton, L.
Long, V. Renwick, L.
Longford, E. Rochdale, V.
Lucas of Chilworth, L. Rodney, L.
Lyell, L. Romney, E.
McAlpine of Moffat, L. Rugby, L.
McFadzean, L. St. Aldwyn, E.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. St. Davids, V.
Macleod of Borve, B. Saltoun, Ly.
Mancroft, L. Sandford, L.
Margadale, L. Sempill, Ly.
Marley, L. Sharples, B.
Maude of Stratford-upon-Avon, L. Skelmersdale, L.
Stamp, L.
Merrivale, L. Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Mersey, V. Strabolgi, L.
Middleton, L. Sudeley, L.
Mishcon, L. Suffield, L.
Molloy, L. Swansea, L.
Montagu of Beaulieu, L. Swinton, E. [Teller.]
Morris, L. Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L. Taylor of Mansfield, L.
Mulley, L. Terrington, L.
Nathan, L. Teviot, L.
Newall, L. Teynham, L.
Nicol, B. Trefgarne, L.
Nugent of Guildford, L. Trumpington, B.
Onslow, E. Ullswater, V.
Oram, L. Vaux of Harrowden, L.
Orkney, E. Vivian, L.
Orr-Ewing, L. Vinson, L.
Pender, L. Wallace of Coslany, L.
Plummer of St Marylebone, L. Wells-Pestell, L.
Whitelaw, V.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L. Windlesham, L.
Portland, D. Wootton of Abinger, B.
Quinton, L. Wynford, L.
Rankeillour, L. Yarborough, E.
Reay, L. Young of Graffham, L.
Reigate, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

[Amendment No. 3 not moved.]

5.45 p.m.

Lord Montagu of Beaulieu moved Amendment No. 4: Page 1 line 17, at end insert— ("( ) Where planning permission granted by a development ordcr for the enlargement, improvement or other alteration of a dwelling house, or for the erection or construction of gates, fences, walls or other means of enclosure, is withdrawn by the issue of directions under powers in that behalf conferred by the order subsection (1) applies in relation to development in a conservation area only if the application referred to in paragraph (c) is made before the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the date on which the directions came into operation." ").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I must start by apologising to the House that I was not here during the Committee stage, but I have read Hansard and this new subsection (1B) seeks to put Article 4 directives on the same footing as a change in a development order. This is, in fact, directly linked with Amendment No. 8, which I shall be moving later, to remove the right of compensation in respect of all buildings in conservation areas.

However, in returning to Amendment No. 4, the situation is this. If a developer is lucky enough to own a building in an area subject to an Article 4 direction he can, if refused compensation under section 169, try an alternative route under Section 165. This secondary route to compensation is available only in areas so important and so evidently at risk that one of these Article 4 directions has been made by the local authority and confirmed by the Secretary of State. Article 4 directions are designed to be a special protective device, removing the normal rights of permitted development; yet at present they carry the right of compensation in perpetuity.

My amendment to this seemingly absurd situation is deliberately drafted in very narrow terms. It seeks only to deal with dwelling houses in conservation areas and with associated fences and gates which can of course affect valuable forecourt parking areas. It is a limited amendment to prevent damage in conservation areas while a wider review is perhaps carried out. I have considerable sympathy with the amendment to be proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Craigavon, which eliminates the one year's grace for withdrawal of this compensation right. I regret the one year's grace for hazardous substances as well as for conservation areas. If either a change in a development order, or an Article 4 direction, has already been in existence for over a year—and many Article 4 directions have been in force for over 20 years—I cannot see the need for a further year's grace after the passage of the Bill. But from the point of view of conservation areas the important thing is to end the right of compensation which could give developers in areas that by definition, are the most vulnerable two bites at the compensation cherry.

Unfortunately, the right to compensation distorts planning decisions and I fear that now publicity has lifted the lid of this Pandora's Box there will be a surge of planning applications of the spurious, blackmail variety; and conservation areas are too important to be left at risk in this way. Local authorities should be able to take sound decisions in these important areas without calculating what it will cost in compensation. Local authorities should be able to take those decisions for the benefit of the conservation areas, regardless of how the buildings are used.

On a previous occasion the noble Earl, Lord Avon, referred to this amendment as "tempting". I submit that it is more than that: it is essential. I hope that the Minister will accept it this evening. I beg to move.

The Deputy Speaker (Lord Renton)

My Lords, I now have to call Amendment No. 5, which is an amendment to Amendment No. 4.

Viscount Craigavon moved, as an amendment to Amendment No. 4, Amendment No. 5: Line 6 leave out from ("order") to the end and insert ("in relation to development in a conservation area subsection (1) of this section shall not apply." ")

The noble Viscount said: My Lords, the purpose of those supporting my amendment is to show that we agree to focus, with the noble Lord, Lord Montagu, on the narrow issue of dwelling houses in conservation areas; and in the need for protection in those areas—as he has just shown—with which we are in full agreement.

Taking that common agreement as assumed, may I concentrate on where we disagree with the noble Lord, Lord Montagu; and that is with his allowing a period of 12 months for compensation claims. The simple effect of my amendment is to remove the 12-month period and, hence, disallow claims for compensation altogether in this relatively limited area of planning procedure. I am glad that Amendment No. 8 of the noble Lord, Lord Montagu, to which I have also put my name and which I fully support, excludes any 12-month period.

First, I would want to distinguish the nature of Article 4 directions in this small area of dwelling-houses in conservation areas from the use of directions in other fields which were mentioned at the previous stage of this Bill, particularly agricultural, industrial and commercial. In those latter cases we were told by the noble Earl, Lord Avon, (at col. 1223 of Hansard of 5th March): an Article 4 direction is normally made to control specific development, the planning of which is already under way. In such cases the landowner will have incurred expenditure in reliance on his GDO rights and he ought to be entitled to compensation if these rights are suddenly taken away in the middle of the process". In those cases one accepts that such genuine compensation is reasonable. But that is not usually the purpose of Article 4 directions in conservation areas, where they are more often used to reinforce and protect, in advance of any work being done or action being taken by individuals, particular styles or features of whole areas or streets.

The directions would be known locally by architects and builders, if not by residents; and expenditure in advance of proposed development would usually be only in the normal drawing up of plans—expenditure such as is incurred in any planning application, and which is accepted as a reasonable overhead if planning permission is refused. In these circumstances, it would be unusual to incur major expenditure in advance of planning permission being refused which it would be just to compensate. I have so far been referring to genuine claims for compensation; but, unfortunately, hard on the heels of these, and not readily distinguishable in law, come the spurious claims. It is the threat of spurious claims that hangs like a sword over local planning authorities, distorting the planning process in a way that Parliament never intended.

At the Committee stage of the Bill I gave two examples of such potential distortions found in my local borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Since then, as my advisers, the borough wrote to many local authorities for further evidence of the problem. May I quote from a reply from the City of Chester, which is one of the leading authorities in the conservation of historic buildings? Part of the letter says: In formulating these [Article 4] directions, the council had to recognise the possibility that persons who were aware of the compensation loophole could submit 'spurious' applications, purely for financial gain". The letter then gives two specific examples of potential problems affecting the houses of two named streets. It then says: It is estimated that up to 10,000 in each of these cases could be the limit of a possible claim, with the scope for a series of identical claims from adjacent properties if the opportunity for this became common knowledge". It is for that latter reason that I do not spell out the exact location of the examples in the letter. The noble Earl, Lord Avon, was given a copy of it.

After mentioning further specific examples of possible expansion of buildings, particularly shops, onto forecourts, the letter ends with these words: I welcome [the] initiative in putting together a co-ordinated response because liability to pay significant compensation claims could become a distinct possibility in Chester unless legislation is altered to deny 'spurious' claims. Perhaps more serious is the possibility that the planning committee could be over-cautious in refusing such planning applications because of the fear of meeting the compensation".

If, as the noble Earl, Lord Avon, seemed to hint in his reply at the Committee stage of the Bill, the Government are content to allow potential liability for compensation to act as a restraint on local planning authorities, they are using a double-edged weapon, and a clumsy one. Once the way has been shown in this area, it almost necessarily leads to some spurious claims, and consequently to significant distortion of the planning process.

If the Government are worried that acceptance of this amendment would lead to a flood of Article 4 submissions by local planning authorities, they have the power to refuse to confirm them; or later, after they have given confirmation of a direction, the Secretary of State can, on appeal, reverse an unreasonable decision made locally in a particular area.

May I now deal briefly with what I believe is the effect of allowing the 12-month period for compensation claims to remain, and perhaps I may do that by quoting the words of the noble Earl, Lord Avon, (with which I fully agree) in a letter that he kindly wrote to me following the Committee stage of the Bill. I should say that the context of the 12 months is not exactly the same in the letter as the 12 months with which this amendment is concerned. In what I am about to read out it is referring to a wider application of Article 4, but, in my opinion, the effect would be the same relating just to conservation areas. I quote: If Article 4 directions are used in the way that it is intended, it seems likely that nearly all of the necessary planning applications are going to be made in the first 12 months. An extension of the provisions of the Bill to cover this would, I think, at best, be of little practical value: at worst, it would stir up a lot of applications which did not relate to immediate development proposals but which were being made solely to preserve compensation rights. If this were to happen, local planning authorities would finish up in a worse position than they are in now". I certainly agree with that entirely.

I have been trying to show the scale and reality of the problem. Someone might now reasonably ask, as I did initially, why, if it is as bad as I am claiming, more people have not taken advantage of this loophole, particularly in submitting spurious claims. Part of the answer—in fact, I would say a large part—is ignorance. Fortunately, at the moment that is still generally the case, but once knowledge of all this is widely disseminated, awareness will quickly spread.

I am sure that noble Lords can see the paradox of this debate. We are having to raise the subject in some detail, genuinely to alert the Government, and at the same time we basically do not wish to draw more attention than necessary to specific loopholes. That is why just now in reading the letter from the City of Chester I had to omit some names of streets and areas.

If the Government cannot accept this amendment and put the lid on this particular compensation problem now, the same paradox will obtain if they feel that they should first raise this subject for more general debate by way of something like a consultation paper. The paradox then would be that they would be giving public notice of a loophole, and at the same time, at the very least by implication, hinting that it might shortly be closed, giving plenty of time for those so minded and alerted to put in spurious applications.

I should like the Government to do it the other way round and accept this amendment, abolishing compensation in this very limited field of dwelling-houses in conservation areas, and say that the whole matter will be properly reviewed, with public consultation, during the rest of this year. They cannot leave this flank exposed while consultation is proceeding.

Finally, I should like to emphasise that this is not an elitist amendment about aesthetics, on which people might reasonably differ as to the importance that they give to it. It is fundamentally about compensation and—what seems to have all-party agreement—the fact that no one wants large sums of ratepayers' money (and we are talking about ratepayers from all levels of wealth) being paid out in spurious compensation claims. For all those reasons, I would ask that the Government and the House accept this amendment to the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Montagu. I beg to move.

Baroness Birk

My Lords, I rise to support the amendment in the name of the noble Viscount, Lord Craigavon, and myself. At the Committee stage of the Bill the amendments that I moved proposed that the right to compensation should be removed where there was a national amendment to a development order or an Article 4 direction. The removal then was to be total, without any period of grace for the submission of claims. Today the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Montagu, and now the amendment to the amendment, are concerned with a very much narrower area. I completely support the amendment referring to conservation areas proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Montagu, apart from the 12-month period of grace which, frankly, I do not like.

6 p.m.

I should like for a moment to concentrate on the reason, as I see it, for eliminating this particular period. Noble Lords will recall that at Committee stage, while I proposed that it should be deleted altogether, other noble Lords suggested that it should be not only retained, but extended to three years or even, in some cases to five years. Now in these amendments we are talking solely about conservation areas and we have for the moment disposed of the question of agricultural areas.

The noble Earl, Lord Avon, like the noble Viscount, had already referred to the fact that people incur professional fees; they enter into contracts and so on. Nevertheless, I believe that so far as a 12-months' limit is concerned the Government here would be offering a hostage to fortune. They are encouraging those who look to see where money grows on trees. The noble Viscount gave examples from Chester and also, during Committee stage, from London. One could look round many of the other historic towns and cities, and not only there but at the areas within cities. Some of the cities may not be very beautiful, but the conservation areas are of very great visual and qualitative importance. It is those with which we are concerned today.

There is no logical justification for the preservation of the right that we are suggesting should be removed. As we know, the wheels of Government grind slow, I am afraid to say. This, in itself, provides every opportunity for those who want to take advantage of provisions that currently exist to make their application and, if unsuccessful, to receive compensation. These sensitive areas to which we are referring in these amendments are now more vulnerable. The Bill will attract publicity, which will make it more likely that people will exploit their present rights and there is no doubt that local planning authorities, with all the goodwill in the world, are very nervous (and understandably so) of having to face the alternative of paying large amounts, which can run into thousands of pounds, of compensation rather than give planning permission—and, very often, against their better instincts. But, in view of their financial interests, they give planning permission, albeit reluctantly.

The noble Earl, Lord Avon, at Committee stage referred to the proposals in relation to hazardous waste. This was the subject of a consultation paper put out by the Department of the Environment in September, 1982. The orders were made on 31st October, 1983, following the consultation. The orders were laid before Parliament on 10th November, 1983, and were debated in the Commons on 8th February, 1984. Eventually they came into operation on 1st May, 1984. On my arithmetic, that makes one year and eight months from the date on which the consultation paper was issued to the date on which the orders came into operation. The Government are proposing that, notwithstanding such an all-embracing and leisurely procedure, property owners should be granted yet another 12 months. It is really very difficult to justify this while at the same time one is aware that we may be losing half of our heritage all over the country which we can ill-afford to lose and which, in fact, is irreplaceable.

Now we come to the expenses incurred, which is another reason that has been put forward for keeping the 12 months' period when an order is made. I am sure that I do not have to remind the House that compensation codes provide for valuers, assessors, the Lands Tribunal, the courts and others to assess compensation in many situations by reference to the costs incurred, invariably the abortive costs. Indeed, I would suggest that in cases of disputed compensation the Lands Tribunal and other judicial bodies invariably find it much easier to make awards in relation to expenditure incurred rather than in relation to property values, which are often matters of opinion. It may be expert opinion, but it is opinion; whereas disturbance claims are invariably accompanied by schedules of invoices, accounts and other material relating to actual expenditure. It is far less likely that you will get spurious claims under this system than when there is an almost automatic right to compensation.

This has been part of the pattern of the law since 1845, but now, in 1985, the House is being advised that to sort out abortive expenditure in this type of situation would not be practical and that any test could be abused. I do not think that this is true. I believe it to be nonsense. I hope that when the noble Viscount, Lord Dilhorne, speaks, as a lawyer, he will also be supporting this view. I do not wish to delay the House any longer over this as feel that I have made my point on the 12-months' period.

Another point made by the Minister was that an Article 4 direction is made by the local planning authority and confirmed by the Secretary of State without any parliamentary procedure. In these cases I do not think that one can argue to the death that parliamentary procedure is really necessary. In fact, more harm can be done by not doing things because of lack of parliamentary procedure in this area than waiting for it, since after the local planning authority has reached a decision the order has to be confirmed by the Secretary of State. This is a double check and therefore must act as some sort of safeguard.

It is also true that local authorities, by the sensitivity that many of them have put into their planning—and indeed, by a certain amount of expenditure that they have put in—have already enhanced the areas themselves. It would be wrong if the benefit of this enhancement is not felt by everybody living in the area but is taken advantage of by developers who in this way are using the planning laws as they are at the moment for their own benefit. What I am anxious to do is to stop the compensation tail wagging the planning dog.

Viscount Dilhorne

My Lords—

Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran

My Lords, I find it very surprising to hear the speech of the noble Baroness, Lady Birk, having regard to the fact that at the Committee stage she was very concerned (as indicated in column 1225) with conservation matters. I agree that this is probably on a slightly different aspect, but it seems to me that the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, as it stands, giving a grace period of 12 months in dealing with questions of conservation, is wholly consistent with the Bill as it stands. There is a grace period of 12 months in the amendment to Clause 1 and it seems to me very proper that that period should be maintained. Therefore, if necessary, I would vote against the amendment proposed by the noble Viscount, Lord Craigavon. I do not know what the noble Lord, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, is going to do about that amendment. I apologise to the noble Viscount, Lord Dilhorne, for having apparently intruded before he was going to speak; but I have spoken very briefly and I hope that he will forgive me.

Viscount Dilhorne

My Lords, of course, I would grant the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran, whatever forgiveness he requires. I am not going to keep your Lordships for long. I support entirely the amendment moved by the noble Viscount, Lord Craigavon, and the noble Baroness, Lady Birk. I have perhaps one thing to say that they have not said and one other thing to augment what the noble Baroness, Lady Birk, has said. In the event that amending legislation is forthcoming following the consultation paper, I would urge my noble friend on the Front Bench to state that compensation will not be payable for applications that are made after today until legislation is passed.

The consequence of failing to make such a provision will be to allow speculators, or rather to grant speculators, a charter allowing them to design schemes to obtain compensation by spurious claims—to put up things which they know will not be likely in the normal event to get planning permission in the hope that they will get money instead. That is the design and purpose of what they are trying to do. As the Budget contained provisions to abolish development land tax, there will be, surely, no fetter discouraging speculators from exploiting this weakness in the existing legislation. It is this weakness that the Bill aims to prevent.

My noble friend the Minister, at the Committee stage, tried to tread a very taut tightrope between what I should like to call remedial and preventive medicine. My understanding of his policy then was that where there was sufficient evidence to show that this was being done and that people were exploting the situation, then remedies were taken, but that in some cases where the patient was infected—in particular, the pizza development in the Gloucester Road which was referred to—no such remedy was envisaged. So the patient remained infected.

I am trying to urge the Government to grant a moratorium, a stay, on the compensation until the legislation is passed. This, in a sense, does not go against anything said by the noble Viscount, Lord Craigavon, and the noble Baroness, Lady Birk. There is no provision for this to be done, but it would be usual and has been practised in another place.

I should like to support every word of the noble Baroness, Lady Birk, about the compensation provisions and the lands tribunal particularly what she said about the ability to ascertain the costs in comparison with the skilled guesswork of two valuers following the British principle that you take the mean between the higher and the lower. You will not get spurious claims on that basis. What the noble Baroness said is absolutely right. I should like to support her remarks fully.

Lord Sandford

My Lords, the House is faced with a difficult decision when this amendment, and the amendment that it amends, are put to it. The question is how far to go in the Bill in dealing with the abuses, the weaknesses and the loopholes that have been revealed. All that I want to do at the moment is to leave the House under no illusion about the extent of these problems. The noble Viscount, Lord Craigavon, quoted just one letter from the city of Chester, a member of the ADC and a distinguished one when it comes to conservation. On the files at the association, we have and could have many more similar letters from cities like Norwich, Durham, York, Bath, Chichester and all over the country, all faced with the same weakness on the part of planning authorities wishing to control these abuses and the very strong likelihood that the loopholes will be further exploited and the abuses further perpetrated.

My second point is that if we do not get the changes that seem to be necessary in this Bill, to what can we look forward? The impression that we have in the Association of District Councils is that having received a consultation paper in the course of the last few months on a whole range of planning matters, there is a strong likelihood that there will be a Planning (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill in the next Parliamentary Session. If my noble friend can assure us of that, then we have some useful and, I should say, vital information by way of background in coming to our decision. If he cannot give that assurance and we have no certain prospect of any further legislation dealing with these matters, we shall have to consider carefully whether the amendments before us should not be incorporated in the Bill. I therefore ask my noble friend to deal with that second point.

6.15 p.m.

Lord Skelmersdale

My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend Lord Sandford for putting the dilemma squarely before the House. I shall, of course, respond to the last important point that he made a little later. My noble friend Lord Montagu has explained that his Amendment No. 4 would have the effect of adding a new provision to Section 165 of the 1971 Act and arises from his later Amendment No. 8 related to the provisions of Section 169 of that Act. He must, I am sure, be aware, especially after his recent meeting with my noble friend Lord Avon and his officials that, although his general concern to enhance the protection of conservation areas is a common thread between the two amendments, the application is quite different in each case. I am grateful to him for agreeing to treat both his amendments on their own merits.

As my noble friend has said, the primary purpose of this amendment is to remove compensation rights in respect of extensions to old commercial premises in conservation areas. Extensions to houses are permitted under the general development order, so that there is no planning application to refuse, and compensation under Section 169 will rarely arise. I accept that there could be a compensation liability under both Sections 165 and 169 where the GDO right relating to house extensions is withdrawn, and that a case can be made for amending both sections in the interests of consistency. But we need to remember five things. First, if a house is in a conservation area, the right to extend it is already much more severely limited than in other cases. Secondly, we made it clear in Circular 23/77 that Article 4 directions should not be made unless a special need can be clearly shown, such as a known or potential threat to the character of the area, and that the fact that an area is a conservation area is not in itself a justification for a direction.

The noble Viscount, Lord Craigavon, has referred to a letter that he has received from my noble friend Lord Avon which, in part anyway, amplifies this point. Paragraph 41 of the circular specifically states that: unless there are obvious and immediate reasons for it, a direction should not be made until it is clear that there will not be adequate public co-operation in the improvement of the area", and that: a special need must be clearly shown such as a known or potential threat to the character of the area". If Article 4 directions are used in the way that is intended, it seems likely that nearly all the necessary planning applications are going to be made in the first 12 months. I have not yet reached the matter of timing, but that is also a valid point in this connection. I wonder whether there are all that number of cases where the very limited right to extend a house in a conservation area needs to be withdrawn to protect the character of that area.

Thirdly, if the house is a listed building, listed building consent is required, and no compensation is payable under either Section 165 or 169 if it is refused. Fourthly, even if an Article 4 direction is made, and planning permission for the extension is subsequently refused, is compensation a serious problem? Surely the normal outcome will be a revised proposal which is acceptable on all sides. At worst, the amount of compensation payable for the refusal of a house extension, to say nothing of the refusal to allow the erection of a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure, is surely going to be minimal and hardly likely to affect the planning authority's decision.

Finally, the difficulty with my noble friend's proposal is that it differentiates artificially between one kind of Article 4 direction and another. It does no more than cover a fairly minor anomaly that could arise on the interface between Sections 165 and 169 if his later proposal—that is, Amendment No. 8—were to be accepted. However, in so doing it simply creates other anomalous distinctions within Section 165 itself. So even if my noble friend were to be successful—and we shall have to await what he has to say on his later amendment—I would have to ask the House to reject this amendment.

In referring to the amendment of the noble Viscount, Lord Craigavon, to my noble friend Lord Montagu's amendment—that is, Amendment No. 5—may I say that whatever view is taken about the special needs of conservation areas, there is a fundamental objection to the amendment. It would have the effect of removing entirely in a particular class of case the right to compensation under Section 165, and I simply do not believe that any such blanket withdrawal of these particular rights can be justified. We have to consider the person who has begun, perfectly properly, to incur expenditure on the basis of a planning permission granted by a development order only to find that right taken away before the proposals can be implemented. If he then obtains planning permissions, well and good, but if his planning application is refused he has incurred abortive expenditure in good faith. Surely in these circumstances he ought to be compensated. I recognise that the 12-month period of grace is a rough and ready safeguard which could be abused. But no one has come up with a better solution, and we simply cannot leave a person in this situation totally in the lurch.

The noble Baroness, Lady Birk, and my noble friend Lord Dilhorne, in speaking to this amendment, argued that the Lands Tribunal could easily assess compensation for abortive expenditure. We studied this point and we came to the conclusion that the definition of tests of abortive expenditure would be difficult and readily capable of circumnavigation. We think that a period of time is a better and fairer test of bona fides. I should be interested in any other suggestions as to how we might get over this point.

Finally, my noble friend Lord Dilhorne asked whether the Government would be able to have some sort of pre-emptive strike now in order to pave the way, as it were, for the results of the consultation we are about to have and which quite clearly the House is expecting. I think my noble friend Lord Sandford's point is relevant here. The Government have introduced this particular Bill as an emergency measure, with the best of intentions: that is, to get rid of what is clearly seen on all sides of the House as a glaring and obvious abuse of the planning system. Any consideration of these wider issues will need to go well beyond Section 169 and will involve balancing the rights of landowners and conservation interests and the question of equity between one landowner and another.

It is our intention to issue by the summer a consultation paper to enable all the relevant issues to be fully debated. If, as a result of this review, the Government conclude that further amending legislation is indeed required, perhaps coupled with appropriate amendments to the general development order, the necessary Bill will then be introduced at the earliest opportunity. Regretfully, I am not able, with the best will in the world, to put a date on this, but the commitment is as I have just stated it.

Clearly, the Government will give prime consideration to the question of the operative date of any further legislation resulting from the consultation that I have just announced. But we cannot decide what the appropriate operative date will be until we have decided exactly what form the legislation will take; and of course we cannot do that until after we have had the consultations. So we are in a rather vicious circle.

My noble friend Lord Dilhorne asked me, in effect, about the blackmailer's charter. I would say at this stage that this is one view of the matter. However, until the consultation procedure is completed we shall not know whether this view is generally held, or, if it is, how we might best balance the legitimate interests of all those involved. As I have said, we shall press on as quickly as possible. My noble friend referred to the operation of the Budget. I am informed that this is quite different because of the operation of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, which gives immediate effect to Budget resolutions although the Finance Bill does not reach the statute book for some months.

As can be clearly seen, I do not like the amendment of the noble Viscount, Lord Craigavon, any more than I like that of my noble friend Lord Montagu. I hope that my noble friend would agree with me that the noble Viscount's amendment would not be a reasonable approach to the problem he has outlined. In any event, as the House will realise by now, I am unable to accept my noble friend's amendment; but I hope that what I have been able to say and the announcement I have made tonight will go some way towards pacifying him.

Baroness White

My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, I should like to ask him to clear the minds of some of us who are not fully au fait with what has been going on but are extremely disturbed, if I may speak for myself and, I should have thought, for some other Members of the House, as to what is really going to happen to this opportunity for speculative, pseudo-development applications that may be made over an even longer period if we have to wait for the consultation process and subsequent legislation. It seems to me to be an absolutely open invitation to those who have property in conservation areas. I understand that the Civic Trust is much concerned about this. I wonder whether the Minister could be a little more convincing in making it clear that he is not leaving a wide-open door.

Lord Skelmersdale

My Lords, this is exactly the point that I sought to answer when referring to the remarks of my noble friend Lord Dilhorne. I shall not believe, until evidence is produced—it has not yet been produced—that this problem is as widespread as has been suggested today by the noble Viscount, for example. We do not have evidence from the local authorities that this is happening and is an abuse which needs to be corrected as a matter of the greatest urgency. I am perfectly prepared to accept that it is happening in a few cases which have been illustrated today. I think it is absolutely vital, before we have blanket approaches to any particular problem, to actually understand, and for Parliament to be advised on, exactly the strength of the evidence and the widespread need for legislation that that throws up.

Viscount Craigavon

My Lords, before the noble Lord, Lord Montagu, gives his opinion on the proceedings, perhaps I should deal with my amendment to his amendment. We should at least be grateful for the assurance, now on the record, about this process of consultation which is going to take place, though I am afraid I think that is a small comfort. Where I seem to disagree with the noble Lord the Minister is on the extent of the compensation which is due to people who have incurred expenditure on residential properties, as opposed to what the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd, was saying about agricultural properties. In my opinion the extent of that expenditure which needs to be compensated is very much smaller than the noble Lord, Lord Skelmersdale, was leading us to believe. With that, and with a slightly heavy heart, I should like to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment to the amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

6.30 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

My Lords, I now have to put the Question on the main amendment once more: That Amendment No. 4 shall be agreed to?

Lord Montagu of Beaulieu

My Lords, I listened with interest to what the Minister said and though I am not entirely convinced I heard with considerable pleasure that there will be this inquiry. I hope that it can be done urgently.

I should like to take up the point about the evidence of compensation being paid. That is possibly true, but until the Peaktop case hit the headlines, the compensation provision had been on the statute book for about 30 years. Look at what has happened since. However, I shall be asking the House to support my Amendment No. 8 and for the goodwill of the House at that time I shall take this opportunity of withdrawing this amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Viscount Craigavon moved Amendment No. 6. Page 2, line 2 after ("day") insert ("—(i)")

The noble Viscount said: My Lords, with leave of the House I will also speak to Amendment No. 7: Amendment No. 7: Page 2, line 10, at end insert ("; or (ii) the building is used in whole or in part for retail trading purposes or as a restaurant or as offices or any other commercial purposes." ")

This amendment is identical to one that I withdrew at Committee stage. It was put down at this stage to remind the Government that this is still and will continue to be a problem area for many local authorities. In view of the assurances which the Minister has just given about a review, I shall not pursue this amendment further except to quote a paragraph from a letter, to which I referred earlier, from the chief executive of the city of Chester.

It reads, relating to this problem: The more significant case for individual claims could flow from the 10 per cent. tolerance on use of forecourt areas, as identified in your letter. There are a number of situations in the City Centre of Chester where this situation could occur. Probably the most serious would be in … one of our prime trading positions, where such a situation accurs across a number of shop frontages between key multiple store positions. It could also be a possibility … in the heart of the historic city". I have left out the names of the streets that he mentioned.

That would seem to be the locus classicus of the Section 169 problem that I was originally trying to address in using the example I gave at the Committee stage of the pizza establishment. Now I can only hope that not too much damage is done before this consultation process comes to fruition. I beg to move.

Baroness Birk

My Lords, in view of what the noble Viscount has said and the fact that we went over this in Committee, I give him my support as I have my name to his amendment, but I do not think that there is any reason at this time in the evening for me to say anything more about it.

Lord Skelmersdale

My Lords, as one unused from this Bench to giving assurances, I was rather surprised that the assurance I gave earlier was greeted so quietly, although obviously it goes some way to relieving certain concerns that have been expressed this evening.

This amendment is identical to one that my noble friend moved during the Committee stage. It is a very wide ranging extension to the provisions of the Bill relating to Section 169 of the 1971 Act, and would, in effect, remove compensation rights under that section in most of the cases where those rights are still of practical value.

The noble Viscount has made some important points about how the provisions of Section 169 of the 1971 Act are capable of abuse in relation to extensions to commercial buildings, and my noble friends Lord Montagu and Lord Sandford have made clear some equally important concerns about buildings in conservation areas, to which we will return. It has been very useful to open up these wider concerns. Nevertheless I have to say, as I did earlier, that we intended this to be a short and simple Bill to deal with two specific problems. The first is the abuse of the provisions of Section 169 of the 1971 Act and its Scottish equivalent, in relation to compensation for extensions to blocks of flats in existence on 1st July 1948. The second is the open-ended nature of the compensation rights arising under Section 165 for adverse planning decisions following the revocation or modification of a development order.

The difficulty, of course, is that planning compensation is not a simple subject. For example, the concept of "development not constituting new development" which underlies Section 169, is one that can only be understood in historical terms. Nevertheless it has important practical implications. The compensation rights vested by this section can be regarded either as a substitute for development rights under the General Development Order, and therefore as an inherent part of property values, or as a wholly inappropriate constraint on the freedom of planning authorities to make proper planning decisions, depending on your point of view. Moreover, these provisions interrelate with others in the 1971 Act such as the basis for the service of a purchase notice set out in Section 180 or the basis on which compensation for compulsory purchase is calculated. Any consideration of the issues which these provisions raise involves balancing the rights of landowners and conservation interests, and questions of equity between one landowner and another. The Royal Insitution of Chartered Surveyors are known to be concerned about the implications, and so doubtless are many others.

We have opened what is clearly a very large box—to use the comment of my noble friend, Lord Montagu—rather like Pandora's, and I feel rather like Pandora in wondering how much more there is to come out of it and how to shut the lid before everything is blown away. It would be wholly wrong to allow ourselves to open up fundamental issues of this kind without prior consultation and public discussion. I feel bound to resist all attempts to extend the scope of the Bill, on the ground that, however minor they may appear, this is a process which, once started, has no logical finishing point.

This is exactly why the Government intend to have this consultation paper at the earliest opportunity, and further amending legislation, if necessary, based on it. I believe that the problem of abuse will be at the forefront of the minds of those undertaking the consultation and offering the evidence. If there is evidence of widespread abuse we shall look closely at the operative date of the amending legislation, as I have said before. I feel that, desirable as some members of your Lordships' House might feel this to be at this stage, the House is in danger of pre-empting a situation which it would not be in the House's interest so to pre-empt.

Viscount Craigavon

My Lords, I am grateful for those remarks. As I said at the beginning, I will not pursue this amendment, but it is useful to have had all those comments from the Minister on the record, as well as my example which I gave at the beginning. As well as other things escaping from Pandora's Box. I hope that a lot of compensation will not disappear between now and the time when the consultation process reaches its fruition. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 7 not moved.]

Lord Montagu of Beaulieu moved Amendment No. 8: Page 2, line 10, at end insert— ("(6B) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, paragraph 3 of Schedule 8 to this Act shall be construed as not extending to the enlargement of a building which was in existence on the appointed day if the building is in a conservation area." ").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment, Amendment No. 8, is one to which I attach the greatest importance as I feel it is fundamental to the future of conservation areas. I was sorry to miss the Committee stage, but I was most grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Birk, and the noble Lord, Lord Sandford, for carrying on the argument so persuasively. It was therefore disappointing that, after winning what appeared to be an offer from the Minister to look again at the proposed amendment—in fact, the same one as that which I am now proposing—nevertheless there appears to be this evening a refusal to give any concession to that argument which was then put forward and which I am now putting forward. Therefore, I must return somewhat to the charge.

First, I should like to say this. By introducing this very welcome Bill, which is appreciated by everybody concerned with the subject, the Government recognised that there was a problem; that having spotted the source of compensation, developers are bound to be very quick to exploit it. The Peaktop case showed that, and the result is this Bill.

The Government now say that they cannot introduce a major change in the balance between landowning and conservation matters without an opportunity for prior public debate—but why not? If conservation areas are worth anything—and I am sure we all agree that they are—why must they be left open for known abuse just because there has not been much abuse yet? This Bill, by drawing attention to the scope for abuse, actually increases the likelihood of harm. The Minister complained that we were not exactly jumping up and down in our seats when he announced the inquiry. But I warmly welcome that inquiry in this whole murky area of compensation. However, welcome though it is, it can only advertise that a lucrative loophole may soon be closed. Meanwhile, conservation areas are at risk because once an historic area has been changed the damage is irreversible. We cannot re-create history.

The really urgent problem is urban conservation areas. Their land values are high. Amounts of compensation at stake are also very high. The fear of compensation claims leads local authorities to grant consent, even though on planning grounds they would wish to refuse them. In towns there is the particular problem that if compensation is paid before refusal of an extension to one house or terrace, this could give rise to claims from all the others. Developers simply cannot lose: either they get permission for a valuable extension or compensation for not building it. It is the conservation area that is the loser. Under this Bill a terraced house converted to flats will no longer give rise to claims for compensation; but its neighbours, used as hotels, offices, or even as single dwellings, will still be able to jump on a profitable bandwagon.

Local authorities are of course required by law to designate conservation areas. Legislation singles out conservation areas for certain forms of attention. Then why are the Government prepared to leave them wide open to known abuse? I hope my noble friend the Minister will accept my new subsection (6B). It certainly has the support of all the heritage interests and certainly of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, of which I am chairman, on the advice of their statutory committee, the Historic Buildings Advisory Committee. My Lords, I beg to move.

6.45 p.m.

Baroness Birk

My Lords, it is with very great pleasure that I rise to support this amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Montagu. A few minutes ago the Minister mentioned that his assurances were received so quietly. I think the point is—certainly so far as we on these Benches are concerned—that assurances are all right up to a point, but meanwhile, as has been pointed out by my noble friend Lady White and others, a tremendous amount of damage and loss can take place during that period. The amendment that we are now discussing is really a very narrow amendment. It is designed simply to remove the right to claim compensation if permission is refused for an extension to any building which existed in July 1948 and which is situated in a conservation area. That is all it does. It has really come down to a very narrow point indeed.

Frankly I would have thought, particularly when the amendment is moved by the distinguished chairman of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, which has a very big stake in this whole area, that the consultation paper can still go ahead and be discussed; but at least one can stop part of the flood and deal with some area of it in this way, by this amendment, which is so far the narrowest of the amendments that have been moved.

In referring to the Department of the Environment Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, I hope the House will just bear with me if I correct an error that was reported on Committee stage. The correction was published but it came two days later and may not have been seen. I was reported as saying that, My feeling, as I had been concerned with this area as a Minister in the last Labour Government, was that the only raison d'être for this step was that it should remain a separate entity within the DoE". In fact—as was pointed out in the correction and I should like it on record as a complete piece—what I said was that, My feeling, as I had been concerned with this area as a Minister in the last Labour Government, was that the only raison d'être for this step"— that is, the setting up of the commission— was that it would operate better as a separate entity rather than remain within the DoE". This is one amendment which I think the Government can accept without jeopardising the whole of the consultation period. It will be tragic to waste this opportunity to protect the heritage. With the greatest respect to the Minister, I must say that if he has had assurances that there is not abuse taking place all over the areas and all over different districts in this country, then I am afraid he has been either badly informed or trouble has not been taken to find out exactly what is happening.

Lord Stanley of Alderley

My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady Birk, and indeed my noble friend Lord Montagu, said that this is a narrow amendment. I would support their principle of controlling speculative planning in such areas as Chester and indeed in the Little Boltons and other conservation areas. However, I think this amendment would also catch farms in conservation areas.

I was amused to note that during the Town and Country Amenities Bill that went through this House on 15th July 1974 I tried to tell your Lordships that there was a danger that these conservation areas could hamper agricultural operations. I was told that such designation would do no such thing. I now wonder if I was not right.

What I accept, however, is that paragraph 4 of Schedule 8 to the 1971 Town and Country Planning Act appears to except certain agricultural buildings and operations. As far as I am concerned, it does—and maybe it does not. I need clarification. As I understand it, the amendment of my noble friend would catch farmhouses, maybe farm cottages, certainly market gardens, horticulture, and indeed forestry and timber yards. I should like reassurance. Until I receive it, I do not think I can support the amendment of my noble friend, though I understand what he is trying to get at.

Lord Sandford

My Lords, I certainly want to support this amendment. I think the House has been rather easily reassured by what my noble friend on the Front Bench has said, and, in not pressing any of the previous amendments, it has shown a willingness to run quite large risks as to what might happen in our conservation areas and our countryside while these processes of consultation are going on. We know that there is a good deal amiss in the countryside, but it would seem that we are willing to wait until consultation on landscape area special development orders has gone on. We know there is tremendous potential for abuse and very considerable weakness in the local authorities in being able to deal with it. My noble friend on the Front Bench says, "It's all right. The stable door is open but nothing has bolted yet; so what are you worrying about?" We know more than enough about what is going on in these areas to be worried. The character of the conservation areas in our historic cities and towns has been built up and safeguarded painstakingly and gradually over the past 10 years or more. All this is now at risk. The least we could ask is for the Government to accept this absolutely minimal amendment, which has been introduced by the chairman of English Heritage, the very body which has been brought into existence to safeguard areas of this kind. I shall be very disappointed if my noble friend does not indicate that he is willing to accept it.

Lord Coleraine

My Lords, I am also prepared to offer at least qualified support for the amendment at this stage, on the basis that a little bread is better than none. I am not really sure that the amendment is a very good one in the way in which it differentiates between the conservation and the non-conservations areas. There are a number of indifferent buildings within conservation areas and there are good buildings outside them. I feel that if one is going to deal with this sort of thing, there must be a wide sweep covering the whole lot. Also, I think it is likely that doing it this way will give local authorities a financial interest to get off the present hook and to make conservation areas where none existed before, because that is the only way they can get out of the liability to compensate.

The difficulty, as has been said many times before this evening, is that the box is now open and whatever happens, there will be a number of ways leading to the golden egg. I was delighted to learn that there is going to be this consultative process, and my noble friend has said that he will look carefully at the operative date of amending legislation when the time comes. Until now he has resisted any blandishments to do more than that, but when the time comes I think we shall hear very much what we heard at the start of this Bill, that the retrospective element is paramount and the new provisions will operate from the appointed day under a new Act.

I should like once again to pursue the point raised by my noble friend Lord Dilhorne and taken up again by the noble Baroness, Lady White. I should like to ask my noble friend whether he would say now that when the matter has been gone into and the consultation processes followed, if it is then found that there has been abuse, the door will close on that abuse as from the date of today's debate. It does not seem to me there is any reason why he should not say that. If he did say that, people who were going to buy properties with a view to cashing in on the golden egg would know from today, to a large extent at least, where they stood.

Lord Skelmersdale

My Lords, I get the impression that I have been accused of devaluing conservation areas. Nothing could be further from the truth, I assure you. I fully accept the importance of protecting buildings in conservation areas. Incidentally, my noble friend Lord Stanley of Alderley was quite right: it is all buildings in conservation areas, and the amendment would affect compensation for the refusal of an extension to any building in a conservation area in existence on 1st July 1948.

I recognise that the provisions of Section 169 and Schedule 8 to the 1971 Act relating to compensation may have the effect of putting pressure on planning authorities to permit extensions which really ought to be refused on conservation grounds, although I am bound to add, again, that we have no evidence of the kind of shameless exploitation of these provisions that has occurred over extensions to blocks of flats. During the Committee stage, my noble friend Lord Avon therefore promised to give further consideration to the proposal. Since then, he has discussed the position very fully with my ministerial colleagues, as well as with my noble friend Lord Montagu, and there have also been discussions between officials. The outcome is that we are not persuaded that it would be right to make this amendment to the Bill. I know that the noble Lord is disappointed by the view we have taken, and it is only right that I should explain our doubts in some detail.

There are some 5,000 conservation areas up and down the country. They are designated by local planning authorities under Section 277 of the 1971 Act without any requirement for approval by the Secretary of State, or any form of parliamentary control. All that is required is for the authority to determine that there is a part of their area which is, An area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve, or enhance That is a very wide provision. The effect of my noble friend's amendment would be to allow a local planning authority, without any further control, to use their very wide powers relating to conservation areas to take away what can arguably be regarded as vested property rights. The debate in Committee on Article 4 directions suggested that there were grave doubts about allowing the Secretary of State to take away compensation rights in a situation where there was no parliamentary control. By contrast, it is now proposed that Parliament should give precisely that right to a local planning authority, with no control whatsoever on the way authorities make use of the power. Can this really be regarded as fair to the landowners who would be affected?

We are not talking about minor rights which are of little practical importance. The amendment would take away the present right to compensation for the refusal of an extension to a building in existence on 1st July 1948, which is used, say, as offices, as a hotel, or as a shop. The only kind of building not affected would be a factory or a house, and even house extensions would be affected in a few cases. There is no right to extend offices or other commercial premises under the general development order, and we know that the owners of pre-1948 buildings regard the right to compensation under Section 169 as a protection against the unreasonable refusal of permission for such extensions. It is quite possible to argue that Section 169 ought not to be used in this way; I accept that. We have to face the fact that it is. In this situation would it really be fair to take away this protection from the owners of virtually all buildings in 5,000 existing conservation areas totally without warning? Would it really be fair to allow local authorities to remove these compensation rights from the owners of buildings in any other conservation area that they may wish to designate, and without any recourse to Parliament? It is argued that the property owner has nothing to fear because he can always appeal to the Secretary of State against a refusal of permission to extend. But appeals cost time and money and by delayng the carrying out of a project they also increase the cost, if permission is granted; so it is not unreasonable for property owners to regard Section 169 as an important protection.

I am by no means convinced that Section 169 ought to be used in this way. It is quite possible to argue that Section 169 rights are obsolete and ought to be replaced by appropriate extentions to the general development order. But, as I have said before this evening, the Government have put forward this Bill as an emergency measure with the best of intentions—to get rid of what is clearly seen to be a glaring and obvious abuse of the planning system. Any consideration of wider issues will need to go well beyond Section 169 and will involve balancing the rights of landowners and conservation interests, and questions of equity as between one landowner and another.

I say again, because I feel it very strongly indeed, that it would be wholly wrong to allow ourselves to open up fundamental issues without prior consultation and public discussion. At the same time I fully recognise the strong feeling of a number of noble Lords that there are other compensation rights under the 1971 Act which are no longer appropriate to modern conditions and there are other anomalies which should be put right. I have given the categoric assurance that this whole area is ripe for review and that the Government are proposing to embark on just such a review as soon as this Bill has reached the statute book. I believe that that should meet the very understandable fear that if this opportunity to improve the planning compensation regime is missed, it will not return for many years.

I can assure my noble friend that I regard his speeches today as a forerunner of his response, whether on behalf of his commission or, indeed, individually, to the consultation paper, and I shall be most interested in his further thoughts on this matter. For the moment, however, I simply cannot advise the House to accept this amendment. We do not know at this moment how we will change compensation rights. We may well, for example, need to couple the change with amendments to the general development order. In these circumstances we cannot make the clear statement of intention that the House would dearly love to hear today. But I say again, and for the final time, that if there is clear evidence, we will act.

Lord Montagu of Beaulieu

My Lords, I have listened carefully to what the noble Lord the Minister has said, but I must confess that I remain unconvinced. Of course, I am very pleased that there will be an inquiry, and we shall certainly co-operate with it. But he has not persuaded me that it is sensible, in the meantime, to leave conservation areas at risk, especially when all the publicity attached to the inquiry, not to mention the subsequent legislation, will continually remind developers of better ways to exploit the compensation. The noble Lord has repeated that he feels there is little evidence of compensation actually having been paid, but, as I have already said, until Peaktop hit the headlines legislation had been on the statute book for nearly 30 years, and we have seen what has happened since. He has also suggested that the amendment might become a vehicle for the special, new-born landowners' rights, but this would not be a precedent, as legislation already provides that in conservation areas unlisted buildings cannot be demolished without listed building consent, and I submit that alterations can be just as damaging as demolitions.

I have withdrawn Amendment No. 4, but I feel bound to press my Amendment No. 8, which deals with the drawing of rights of compensation in respect of all buildings in conservation areas, however they are used. But I should like to say to the noble Lord, Lord Stanley of Alderley, that my amendment is entirely restricted to paragraph 3 of Schedule 8 and most farm buildings are excluded by paragraph 4. All I am seeking to do is to ensure that, whatever else is put at risk, conservation areas are not. Although we have been assured that the Government are still concerned about conservation areas, I am sure that they would not like to be seen as putting the first nail in their coffin. So I hope that noble Lords in all parts of the House will join me in seeking to protect them. I submit that this is not a political matter.

7.3 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Amendment (No. 8) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 85; Not-Contents, 89.

Airedale, L. Kagan, L.
Ampthill, L. Kilmarnock, L.
Ardwick, L. Kinloss, Ly.
Atholl, D. Lawrence, L.
Aylestone, L. Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B.
Barnett, L. Lloyd of Hampstead, L.
Bernstein, L. Lockwood, B.
Beswick, L. Lovell-Davis, L.
Birk, B. McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Blease, L. McNair, L.
Bottomley, L. Mar, C.
Brockway, L. Masham of Ilton, B.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L. Meston, L.
Campbell of Eskan, L. Molloy, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L Monkswell, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L. Montagu of Beaulieu, L. [Teller.]
Coleraine, L.
Collison, L. Mountevans, L.
Craigavon, V. Nicol, B.
Davies of Leek, L. Ogmore, L.
Dean of Beswick, L. Perry of Walton, L.
Elliot of Harwood, B. Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Elwyn-Jones, L. Raglan, L.
Ennals, L. Ritchie of Dundee, L.
Evans of Claughton, L. Robertson of Oakridge, L.
Ewart-Biggs, B. Robson of Kiddington, B.
Falkender, B. Rochester, L.
Falkland, V. Sandford, L. [Teller.]
Fisher of Rednal, B. Seear, B.
Gallacher, L. Shackleton, L.
Galpern, L. Stamp, L.
Glenamara, L. Stedman, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L. Stewart of Fulham, L.
Grey, E. Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Hampton, L. Stone, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L. Swinfen, L.
Houghton of Sowerby, L. Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Howie of Troon, L. Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Irving of Dartford, L. Taylor of Mansfield, L.
Jacques, L. Tordoff, L.
Jeger, B. Wells-Pestell, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L. White, B.
John-Mackie, L. Winstanley, L.
Allerton, L. Caithness, E.
Auckland, L. Cameron of Lochbroom, L.
Bauer, L. Campbell of Croy, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L. Carnegy of Lour, B.
Beloff, L. Cathcart, E.
Belstead, L. Colville of Culross, V.
Birdwood, L. Colwyn, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L. Constantine of Stanmore, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L. Cork and Orrery, E.
Bruce-Gardyne, L. Cottesloe, L.
Buckinghamshire, E. Davidson, V.
De La Warr, E. Munster, E.
Denham, L. [Teller.] Norfolk, D.
Donegall, M. Nugent of Guildford, L.
Elton, L. Orkney, E.
Faithfull, B. Pender, L.
Ferrier, L. Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Gisborough, L.
Glenarthur, L. Radnor, E.
Gray of Contin, L. Rankeillour, L.
Greenway, L. Reigate, L.
Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L. Renton, L.
Renwick, L.
Harmar-Nicholls, L. Rochdale, V.
Henley, L. Rodney, L.
Home of the Hirsel, L. St. Aldwyn, E.
Hornsby-Smith, B. St. Davids, V.
Hylton-Foster, B. Saltoun, Ly.
Ironside, L. Sharpies, B.
Kimberley, E. Skelmersdale, L.
Kintore, E. Somers, L.
Kitchener, E. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Lauderdale, E. Stodart of Leaston, L.
Lindsey and Abingdon, E. Suffield, L.
Long, V. Swansea, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L. Swinton, E. [Teller.]
Lyell, L. Teynham, L.
McAlpine of Moffat, L. Trefgarne, L.
McFadzean, L. Trumpington, B.
Macleod of Borve, B. Ullswater, V.
Margadale, L. Vaux of Harrowden, L.
Marley, L. Whitelaw, V.
Mersey, V. Wynford, L.
Middleton, L. Yarborough, E.
Morris, L, Young of Graffham, L.
Mottistone, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

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