§ 6.24 p.m.
Lord Campbell of Croy
My Lords, I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a third time.
The House has the benefit of the special report on the Bill from its Select Committee. The whole House is indebted to the members of that committee who carried out a full examination of the matters to be inquired into. They gave their time and careful attention and afforded opportunities for those concerned, in particular the petitioners, to present their views. My noble friend Lord Alport is to speak in the debate. As chairman of the Select Committee he will no doubt have more to say when presenting its report. In that report, the committee has recommended by a majority that the Bill should proceed, subject to three provisos.
The second proviso is that the undertakings in the appendix to the report be incorporated in a signed document. I can tell the House categorically that the Bill's promoters accept entirely the provisos and are ready to give the undertakings contained in the appendix, in writing, as proposed.
The Select Committee was able to inspect the genuine particulars of the scheme proposed in the Bill. That is important because in situations such as this, wild and exaggerated theories and rumours circulate. I am sure that noble Lords will have experienced elsewhere, as I have, that incorrect and alarming versions of a proposed scheme circulate.
651 The Select Committee was able to address itself to the facts. I can assist the House at this stage by providing the latest information on the principal points raised on Second Reading, and on developments since the Select Committee carried out its tasks. First, the lifeboat was mentioned by several of your Lordships on Second Reading. A formal agreement with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution has been completed and signed. It meets all the RNLI's requirements and helps to improve its facilities.
The subject of fishermen was raised in the debate. Their interest and requirements have been provided for in the undertakings. Originally, there was provision for nine berths for the nine known full-time fishermen. Three more have now been offered to guarantee places in the haven to help to meet the point made in the Select Committee's report about young fishermen being able to come into the business full-time and to have those places. There is also to he a fishermen's quay, a facility which does not now exist.
Sewerage was another important subject that was raised. Agreement has been reached with the Wessex Water Authority for new equipment (macerators) and for improvements to the system, to he paid for by the promoters. Those improvements were in the water authority's future plans, but it has sensibly taken the opportunity to achieve them sooner at the expense of the promoters. Those improvements would not be carried out in the immediate future, and at someone else's expense, if the haven scheme were not to proceed. Those three subjects—the lifeboat, fishermen and sewerage—were matters of concern at the time of Second Reading in May. Other points were raised, all of which I believe have been satisfactorily settled.
An event which occurred after the Select Committee had carried our its enquiries was the town poll. It was initiated in October by opponents of the Bill and held in mid-November. The question put in the poll was:Do you wish to see a private yacht haven in Swanage in the form set out in the Swanage Yacht Haven Bill as proposed?That wording should be noted, because some of those opposed to the Bill are not against the concept of a yacht haven but in favour of a much larger one. That however cannot now be regarded as a realistic alternative as the promoters have reduced their area of jurisdiction for the present scheme on request and with the commendation of the Select Committee.
The poll was for residents within the boundaries of the town of Swanage, numbering 7,293. It did not extend to other local people living in areas nearby who are involved in business in the town or employed there. The result was that 54 per cent. of the electorate voted: 16 per cent. voted yes; 36 per cent. voted no; 2 per cent, had spoilt papers. The result is not surprising when one considers the alarming versions of the scheme which were put out and which doubtless influenced many of those who voted to vote no.
I have here a leaflet, which was published during the days before the poll, asking electors to vote no.
652 The leaflet contains several incorrect and misleading statements. For example, it states:The developer's own experts have calculated that 25,000 to 30,000 tons of sand will he lost from our main beach each year".That is a misrepresentation of colossal proportions. The developers were asked how much sand might move if there were no groins on the beach. It was to that hypothetical question that the estimated figures were given. In fact, there are plenty of groins on the beach at Swanage which prevent such a movement of sand and there is no proposal to remove them. The figures have no relevance whatever to what has been proposed. The statement has been taken out of context and is therefore thoroughly misleading, unintentional though that may have been.
Another fallacy in this leaflet is an illustration purporting to be of the proposed breakwater, making it much higher than it would be. The caption with it states:The magnificent view of Swanage Bay and the Hills GONE!!".The height shown, and the real height of the proposed breakwater, can easily be assessed if one knows the height of the adjoining Wellington Tower, which is in the illustration. The leaflet shows the breakwater's height at a point much higher on the tower than the level proposed in the promoters' scheme. That illustration would undoubtedly have worried many people, causing quite unnecessary anxiety and distress. Indeed, I am sure that many of those qualified to vote, horrified by that picture, would have decided to vote no. It is not difficult to see why people voted that way in these circumstances.
Another misleading error in this leaflet is this:The Parliamentary Bill includes clauses which could affect the future security of the Pier".The paragraph continues by casting doubt on the arrangements to keep the pier in repair. There is no excuse whatever for that travesty. The pier has been rescued by the promoters after falling into disrepair some years ago and becoming unsafe, and it is an integral part of the scheme. The pier is an important and traditional part of the Swanage sea front. Here again, electors would have been influenced by that passage, totally misleading as it was.
It is clear that much of the voting in the poll was on a yacht haven quite different from the one in the Bill. It was an imaginary horror-story haven as depicted in that leaflet, and no doubt by word of mouth also.
I come now to an intriguing and most interesting observation about those events. Some of those who instigated the town poll, who led the opposition to the Bill and set up the organisation called the Swanage Coastal Protection Association were themselves associated with a scheme for a yacht haven very similar to the promoters' haven and had discussed it with the planning department of the district council shortly before the promoters produced their scheme. I have here a copy of the outline plan of that scheme dated November 1984–only three years ago. The main differences from the present scheme are that there is provision there for 296 moorings instead of 250–that is nearly 50 more—and a denser development of buildings and dwellings. I have here the architect's drawing of the 653 plan, entitled the Grosvenor project, prepared in the office of Messrs. Clark Bristow, 169 High Street, Swanage.
The prospective developers were apparently negotiating purchase of the old Grosvenor Hotel and land immediately before the promoters of this Bill entered into negotiations and were successful. The plan includes a breakwater similar to that in the scheme in the Bill. Therefore the principle of a breakwater had been accepted, although this was one of the matters on which the opposition has concentrated. That scheme apparently did not get any further for lack of adequate resources, and the scheme in this Bill later received the preliminary approvals of which the House is aware.
I suggest that this throws a new light on the situation. Many of the voters were being encouraged to vote against a yacht haven as a possible threat to the environment or to the character of Swanage by people who had themselves been planning a similar haven—not one of those mentioned in the report of the Select Committee. These were earlier proposals. One perceives an element of rivalry and sour grapes. The attitude is. "If we cannot have ours, we shall make sure that they do not get theirs".
There is a great deal more to be said about the town poll and its timing. It is certainly a pity that it was proposed after the work of the Select Committee and not before. Because it has happened at this stage, the circumstances—including the misleading information, some of which I have described—could appropriately be looked into and taken into account by a Select Committee of another place in the normal later stages through which this Bill is due to pass. The occurrence of the poll only last month makes it more necessary that the Bill should proceed to another stage where all the relevant facts can be examined closely.
Many of your Lordships who have taken an interest in this Bill are clearly concerned about possible adverse effects of any haven of the kind proposed on the local environment. This came out again at Second Reading. I ask noble Lords to bear in mind that some of those leading the "no" campaign were planning a very similar private scheme only three years ago and only a short time before the promoters put forward the scheme in the Bill. Since that town poll the two local authorities concerned have not changed their support for the project in the Bill. Swanage Town Council held a meeting and decided to continue to support the project. Purbeck District Council has not met and has not changed its policy.
One apprehension about the Bill which is natural and to be expected is that it may change the character of Swanage for the worse. Whether this be a concern felt by residents or by visitors over the years, it should be given full consideration and care should be taken to explain what is being proposed. The wild horror stories will not have helped. The promoters have done their best to show how an area where the life of a hotel has been coming to an end and the pier could no longer be used because it was unsafe can be renewed with thought and imagination and the minimum of disturbance to traditional activities. I am satisfied that the project will not damage the 654 environment. I should not be supporting it if I were not completely satisfied on that matter.
As some of your Lordships know, I am chairman of the advisory committee on pollution of the sea, ACOPS, an international organisation. In that capacity I chaired a conference in Italy convened by ACOPS only six weeks ago to make progress in protecting the marine environment. That conference was attended by delegates from about 40 countries. I mention these credentials with modesty, I hope, because I would not wish anyone to assume that I was a novice in this field. Because of that background, I am well aware that seashore projects can give rise to a wide difference of views which I am sure we shall witness in the debate this evening. I commend this Bill to the House.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read a third time. — (Lard Campbell of Croy.)
§ 6.40 p.m.
§ Lord Raglan rose to move, as an amendment to the Motion that the Bill be now read a third time, to leave out ("now") and at end to insert ("this day six months").
§ The noble Lord said: My Lords, I have been criticised for putting down the amendment as it is not considered right to oppose the findings of a Select Committee on a Private Bill. I have been attending your Lordships' House regularly for 22 years. I am very familiar with the workings of the House. I can fairly say that I am steeped in them and accord them deep respect, developed in a practical way as they have been over centuries. I learnt long ago that, before doing anything involving procedure, if one has any doubt one must consult the appropriate quarter and be quite clear what is involved. Therefore, I did not put down the amendment without most carefully taking official advice.
§ I am informed that there are indeed many precedents in voting against a Private Bill on Third Reading. By the nature of things that I need not go into, it does not happen very often. The last time was in 1976. That was yet another Bill to do with Felixstowe docks. It had already passed through the other place. It was then passed by your Lordships' appointed committee, although with reservation from certain members. On Third Reading it was voted out by a majority of over two to one, the opposition including the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, and the late Lord Byers, who were then leaders of their respective parties. The noble Earl, Lord Listowel, who had been chairman of the committee, was in what he aptly called a predicament because at the time he was also Chairman of Committees. Rightly, however, he stood by his committee, which is what the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, has courteously told me that he will do this evening. I say to him that, if I were in his place, I think that I should find myself doing the same, I cannot say what he would do in my position, but I know that he understands it.
§ The Bill was severely criticised from all sides on Second Reading, but the procedure was followed that a Private Bill is not voted against at that stage to enable it to go to committee. The House, however, 655 accepted my instruction that the committee should have special regard to certain matters that are printed in the special report. In the event, the committee allowed the Bill through by a majority of three to two. Naturally, I was disappointed; and I became even more concerned when I read the special report and the transcripts of the seven days of evidence. I hope that I may say without offence to the noble Lord, Lord Alport, that I believe the committee dealt less than fully with the terms of the instruction, and on one point in particular, as I shall explain.
§ What finally prompted me to oppose the Bill is that on 12th November in a statutory poll held under the provisions of Section 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 the townspeople of Swanage voted against the yacht haven scheme by 2,657 to 1.184. The noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy, has given the percentages. That is a majority of about five to two against on a turnout of 54 per cent. and an electoral roll that was about a year out of date.
§ The noble Lord, Lord Campbell, does not have a very great estimation of the intelligence of the ordinary voter if he thinks that he has been misled by the leaflet which the noble Lord produced and which I know very well. As publicity, I think that it was rather well done. The strength of the turnout is even more remarkable considering that, as laid down in the procedure, the polling booths were open from four o'clock in the afternoon to nine o'clock in the evening only and that throughout that period there was a high wind and much cold, driving rain. If as a consequence of that poll I had not put down the amendment I should have felt very deeply that I had let those people down.
§ I should say again how I became involved in this matter. I was written to by a friend who has a house in Swanage. I replied to him that the scheme did not sound too bad and that people tended to protest against such proposals. Eventually, however, I was persuaded to go and see for myself. It soon became clear to me what a disastrous proposal it was.
§ For those of your Lordships who have not had the advantage of seeing Swanage Bay, I can best describe it as being about two miles across and shaped like an elongated letter C which curves gently out at the top and curls quite sharply up at the bottom. At the apex of the lower curl lies Swanage town by a little natural haven. This is the only part of the bay, and it is a very small part, where there is shelter for the mooring of boats. Fishermen operate from there, yachts and pleasure boats ply from there, the lifeboat stands there, trippers trip over the ropes and wander along the shore, and so on. It is an agreeable scene and much in demand by visitors.
§ The scheme in the Bill would appropriate a large part of that frequented area and about half the sea that is available for mooring. The marina would go right into the middle of it all and enclose it for private use. There is no other area of sea that is well sheltered and reasonably close to the town boat park and no other place where the town boat park and slipways could be located. The 70 or so moorings that the marina will displace have nowhere else to go. It is to the aspect of enclosure that, with respect, the noble 656 Lord, Lord Alport, and his committee appear not to have attached much weight. This busy part of the bay and all those moorings, to which the public now has free access, will be forfeited under the Bill to make way for the development. Yes, the Committee says, the breakwater would be an eyesore; and yes, the yacht haven would affect the town's character and environment. However, while the committee has sympathy for all the disruption that would be caused, it says that things will soon settle down. It thinks that a modus vivendi will be found and that Swanage should accept the scheme for its own benefit.
§ I find that very optimistic. I have sat on many Private Bill committees. One took 15 days, which was a record at the time. I know, therefore, how much time noble Lords have to set aside to perform this interesting but otherwise somewhat thankless task.
§ I have read the transcript, from which it appears that the committee took no evidence on the alleged economic decline of Swanage or the number of jobs the scheme would create. The number is supposedly 40, which in all conscience is not very large in a town of 7,500 people. I have a breakdown of those 40 jobs. Four, five or six—I cannot make out which—refer to employment on the pier, which is, however, unaffected by the scheme. Another 25 attach to the complex of 100 houses, with club, shops, and so on, for which outline planning permission has already been given, although I learn that now the town council can see what the first houses look like it has objected to the second stage of the development proceeding. That leaves 10 jobs for the marina itself, which seems an overestimate because, so I am informed, normal staffing for a marina is one to 100 boats and this marina is for 250 boats. Whichever figure is correct, it is a tiny benefit to set against such a massive intrusion into the town's foreshore and bay.
§ No figures are available for what yachtsmen may spend in the town, but whatever the sum is the developer is evidently expecting that they will spend it in his own new shops. I believe—and it is one of the considerations that prompted my putting down the instruction—that by far the greater part of the economic benefits of the scheme will go straight to the developer. While that is usual and acceptable in the right location, in this area it is to my mind unacceptable in principle because his benefit accrues at the expense of depriving the public of their benefit. It is this equation which the Committee has not addressed and it has perhaps allowed itself to be diverted by other hypothetical considerations.
§ There are also the fishermen to consider; they were mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy. They have enjoyed a right to mooring here since time immemorial. They are against the scheme.
§ The Earl of Onslow
My Lords, they have not enjoyed a right. There is no right. This point came up in committee. There is not a right; there is just a licence. They can be booted off by the Crown Commissioners just like that.
§ Lord Raglan
My Lords, I read the noble Earl's questioning on this very point. It would be difficult not to translate that into a right of access. They have 657 had access to this place since time immemorial. Nothing I read in the evidence will make me change my mind. I might with other evidence, but as the evidence was transcribed in my version it seemed to me that they had acquired a right, although the Crown owns the foreshore.
The fishermen are against the scheme, as are the statutory and national bodies which control and protect them. The Southern Fisheries Committee has supported the petition with a substantial sum and has given expert evidence. The Sea Fish Industry Authority opposes Swanage's declassification as a fishery harbour, which the Bill would bring about. In the authority's opinion this will deprive fishermen of necessary benefits. The scheme will be enormously disruptive to the fishing and will inhibit the expansion of what has been a rapidly growing industry.
What I am trying to convey to your Lordships is that there is no room in that part of the bay for both the marina and the present users and that however much one may be in favour of more marinas—and they are quite in fashion now—that desire must not override propriety as to where they are put. Surely they should not go just anywhere that may appear to be convenient for yachtsmen.
Another worry is the effect of the breakwater on the currents in the bay and the damage these currents may do to the beach. I have read the evidence from the experts on both sides and I came to the conclusion that nobody really knows what damage the currents may cause. The promoters say, as a kind of educated gamble, that building the breakwater is safe. The petitioners, with whom I side, say that it is reckless to build it and hope for the best. It is evident that no one can say with any certainty in what circumstances the promoters could be held responsible for making good any damage.
There are many other unsatisfactory aspects to the scheme, but as there is a long list of speakers I must allow noble Lords to bring in the many points which concern them. I hope I have said enough to show what a sorry impact the scheme will have on this very popular traditional seaside town and how wholly inappropriate it is that a marina should be put there.
I shall conclude by pointing out to your Lordships the difficulty encountered by the petitioners in a case such as this. Promoters of such schemes have the initiative and the resources and they make it their business to know the ropes. In Swanage there is as yet no civic amenities society so there was no immediate focus upon which the objectors could gather. Therefore, they have taken a long time to organise themselves and to find the money and the time to contest the Bill in Parliament. They have had to contend with a skilled and professional presentation, and not least with a quite formidable authority in which any Bill once deposited in Parliament is cloaked. Starting off with not knowing what to do or whom to contact. I think they have done marvellously well. If the Bill goes to the other place they will have to go through the process again. If they just fail to convince the committee, their own opinion of the scheme has been backed by a convincing majority. I hope your Lordships will support them and not allow the Bill to proceed. I beg to move.
§ Moved, as an amendment to the Motion that the Bill be now read a third time, to leave out ("now") and at end to insert ("this day six months").—(Lord Raglan.)
§ The Deputy Speaker (Baroness Serota)
My Lords, the original Question was that this Bill be now read a third time, since when an amendment has been moved to leave out "now" and insert "this day six months". The Question I now have to put is that this amendment be agreed to.
§ 6.57 p.m.
§ Lord Alport
My Lords, after reading the Second Reading debate on the Bill and the papers submitted by the petitioners and promoters, my first impression was that if there was doubt when the evidence to your Lordships' Committee had been heard, on the whole the benefit of that doubt could properly be given to the petitioners. Your Lordships' Committee, of which I was chairman, sat for two weeks and visited Swanage where it saw at first hand the areas and amenities of the town which would be affected by the construction of the proposed marina. It was particularly concerned to satisfy itself on a number of matters.
The first was whether the promoters had the financial resources to carry out the building of the development successfully, because nothing could have been worse than if the project had failed on account of lack of sufficient resources. Secondly, how far the building of the breakwater would affect the beaches which hitherto had been the principal attraction of the resort for young families coming for a "bucket and spade holiday". Thirdly, whether the construction of the breakwater would result in the pollution of the sea around the beaches by sewage.
Fourthly, how far the construction of the marina would interfere with the existing mooring rights of boat owners and damage the facilities now available to the professional fishermen who make their living by fishing in the Swanage area. Fifthly, whether the construction of a stone breakwater would create an unacceptable eyesore in what is rightly regarded as a beautiful stretch of the English coastline; and lastly, how far any of the disadvantages to local interests which the construction of a yacht haven might create would be offset by the advantages this development might bring to the town of Swanage as a whole.
I hope that both the promoters and petitioners felt that your Lordships' committee gave them a full and fair opportunity of presenting their arguments. If anything, I think the committee tried to ensure that the petitioners' case, deployed by an able counsel and supported by admirable witnesses, was given special consideration. This was I think proper, both in view of your Lordships' instruction and because those who seek to petition this House against something to which they object, and who do not necessarily have great resources or perhaps much experience of parliamentary matters, should be given particular sympathy and understanding.
Your Lordships will have read the special report of your committee. It sets out very fully the arguments that were presented by both sides, particularly in 659 relation to matters mentioned in the Instruction. It includes in an appendix certain undertakings that the committee considered it right to impose on the promoters in the interests of certain long-established pleasure boat owners and in those of the professional fishermen operating out of Swanage.
I must tell the House that when the committee came to a vote my four colleagues were equally divided, and I therefore found myself in a situation, which all sensible chairmen of Select Committees seek to avoid, of giving a casting vote. I think I owe it to your Lordships to explain why I voted that "the Bill do proceed".
I was greatly influenced by three things. First, the evidence presented to the committee, much of which, as is always the case in these committees, was conflicting. It seemed to me that the damage to what I may call the "bucket and spade beaches" was likely to be minimal. I have since seen reports from south coast resorts as far away as Cornwall that hoteliers and tourist agents now regard that sort of holiday as largely a thing of the past.
I did not think that the creation of a breakwater, the height of which was specified, would affect the view of residents of the bay or damage the general amenities of the area. I considered that any danger of sewage contamination could be avoided, and that the legitimate interests of the professional fishermen would be protected by the undertaking set out in the appendix. I thought that changes in the mooring facilities and the location of the lifeboat were not of sufficient weight to decide that the Bill should not proceed, particularly since the Lifeboat Institution had agreed to the latter's new location.
But, my Lords, I was greatly influenced secondly by my visit to Swanage. I seemed to see a town with some charm and character but which had missed the bus. It was dominated by a great white elephant, the derelict Grosvenor Hotel, which the promoters propose to demolish and replace with houses. Its pier was rotten and unusable until the developers started to repair it. I found a class of what I think was the sailing club with young people listening to a lecture in a dark, damp hut which the developers proposed to rehouse in a rather delightful building. I found myself doubtful of the real value of some of the amenities which the petitioners sought to preserve.
I was influenced by two other matters. First, that the Swanage Council had voted in favour of the proposal (and did so again, I understand, recently), that the Purbeck District Council had withdrawn its petition against it, and that a marina at Swanage was included as part of the county plan. Secondly, that there had been two or three earlier proposals to build a breakwater at Swanage not apparently dissimilar from the present one and without any apparent opposition, but which had foundered because the necessary finance—public or otherwise—had not been forthcoming. My noble friend Lord Campbell of Croy has told us that there had been some later project which had not got off the ground.
660 I suppose that Francis Hutcheson's adage, plagiarised by Jeremy Bentham,That action is best which procures the greatest happiness of the greatest numberwas somewhere in the back of my mind. A small number of people in Swanage would be inconvenienced, but as the yacht haven attracted new visitors to the town, the shops and restaurants, the hotels and the specialist firms providing gear would benefit. There would be additional employment for the younger people, and above all there would be an impetus for renewal in the future in contrast to what seemed to me the evidence of stagnation and decline which at present seems to pervade Swanage.
But, my Lords, having started with a bias in favour of the petitioners and a wish to give the benefit of any doubt to local private interests against the intrusion of a development to which they were opposed, I relied in the end on such experience of this sort of problem as has come my way over the past many years. A developer built a large estate five or six years ago in my village of Layer de la Haye against a great deal of local opposition. It has done nothing but good. It has given new life and vitality to the village, and yet the village has kept its special happy village character.
I have been intimately involved in the problems of the development of Colchester, a town of great antiquity and character. There has been much opposition from its older citizens to the changes which have taken place. Today Colchester is a boom town. Its ancient characteristics remain alongside so much that is new, and its future prosperity is assured. Colchester certainly has caught the bus.
But most especially I was influenced by the example of Harwich. Some years ago, when its MP retired, I was asked to look after the constituency for a few months. I was told that I would find Harwich itself a very depresed town. Some years previously it had killed a plan to develop it as the Continental terminal, which was subsequently built at Parkestone Quay.
When this decision was made a local councillor who had supported the development project prophesied that grass would grow in the Harwich streets. My Lords, the sinister thing is that on my first visit to Harwich I noted that grass was actually growing in the Harwich streets. Harwich had missed the bus on that occasion and it became subsequently a sad, introverted town rather like Swanage, mourning a missed opportunity.
Luckily that is not the end of the story. For now it has a second chance for the future. Another bus has arrived. The planning authorities are considering, and there is likely to be overwhelming support for, a new piece of development—the building of a yacht marina costing some £15 million with an adjacent housing development, just like Swanage.
My Lords, it was for all these reasons—adequate or inadequate as they may be—that I gave my casting vote in favour of the decision that "the Bill do proceed". I have thought a great deal about it since we rose for the Summer Recess. Your Lordships may of course decide to kill the Bill stone dead by a vote against its Third Reading. Or you may think it better to leave a decision to another place where the elected 661 Members for that part of England sit, and which can consider the significance, if any, of the parish referendum.
I can only explain to your Lordships why I gave my casting vote the way I did and why I think it would not be in the interests of Swanage and its inhabitants, particularly the next generation, that it should follow the fate of Harwich and have to wait another 30 to 40 years of gradual decline until another bus comes along.
§ 7.8 p.m.
§ The Chairman of Committees (Lord Aberdare)
My Lords, I am happy to follow the noble Lord, Lord Alport, as it gives me a chance to thank him for having chaired the Select Committee, which he did with great ability. It was not an easy committee to chair as will be gathered from his description. But he has done so extremely successfully. The House is much in his debt whatever one's thoughts might be about the Bill in question. It is not any part of my responsibility to take part in a discussion of the merits of the Bill. However, as there is a Motion moved by the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, to reject the Bill, it might be as well if I say just a few words on the procedural implications.
Those who wish to oppose Private Bills are, I accept, in somewhat of a dilemma. When it comes to Second Reading, they are told that it is better to leave the matter to go to a Select Committee where it will he investigated fully, but when it comes back at Third Reading they are told that they should not oppose the Bill because it has been approved by the Select Committee. I sympathise with those who find themselves in that dilemma. I can only say that it follows inevitably from the long-established procedure by which Parliament considers Private Bills. In effect, the House is normally expected to accept the view of its Select Committee which has had the advantage of hearing the evidence together with the arguments for and against, of counsel, whereas the House has not.
There are precedents, and the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, mentioned them. However, in recent years there have been very few. So far as I am aware, the only Bill to be thrown out at Third Reading was the legislation on Felixstowe dock and railway, mentioned by the noble Lord. Special factors affected that legislation, particularly as it was largely a matter of politics rather than the merits of the Bill that decided the issue.
Turning to the Bill before your Lordships, I recognise that in this case the circumstances are, to some extent, unusual. Not only were two members of the Select Committee opposed to the majority recommendation that the Bill should proceed but, as the House has heard, there has been a parish poll which suggests that the people of Swanage are largely opposed to the provisions of the Bill. Nevertheless, that does not change my advice to your Lordships that the established procedure should be followed and that the House should rely on its committee's recommendation as to whether the Bill should proceed. The factors to which I have referred, particularly the parish poll, are matters which 662 another place will be able to take into account if your Lordships give the Bill a Third Reading this afternoon.
The Select Committee sat for seven days and spent another day visiting the site of the proposed yacht haven. The House will also appreciate that the committee gave careful consideration to the Instruction moved by the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, referring to it in a special report, if the House were to agree to the Motion that the noble Lord has moved, it would be making two assumptions which are contrary to the accepted practice of this House when dealing with Private Bills: first, that after hearing numerous witnesses and visiting the site, the committee came to the wrong decision; and, secondly, that the House is more likely to make the right decision after one afternoon's debate having heard none of the witnesses and not having visited the site. I recognise, however, that many of your Lordships know Swanage well.
Those are the procedural considerations in relation to the accepted practices of the House. I am sure that your Lordships will wish to bear them in mind when considering the Motion to oppose the Third Reading of a Private Bill.
§ 7.13 p.m.
§ Lord Orr-Ewing
My Lords, I shall not keep the House for long because I know that some noble Lords have commitments tonight, as do I.
I am completely in favour of the Bill. For a long time, I have believed that our generation has an obligation to the young to provide sporting and recreational facilities whenever we have the chance to do so. Young people are full of energy and they should be given the opportunity to work off some of that energy in a wholly healthy manner. We are still a maritime nation and I support anything which encourages boats and a maritime outlook. Sporting facilities used to be provided by our schools but, sadly, that is now falling away and provision depends on local clubs and attendance on the attractiveness of the facilities being offered.
Secondly, I support the Bill because it provides facilities which can usefully be used for recreational purposes for six months of the year. Even the declining numbers who visit Swanage confine their holidays to within six weeks. The boats there will be attended to, varnished and sailed from Easter until the end of September. I am told that "bucket and spade" holidays last from the end of July until early September. There will be the on-going creation of activity.
It is sad, but someone rightly said that the "bucket and spade" activity in which our children engaged and in which our grandchildren try to engage is dying. Young people want activity and something more than a bucket and spade for the seven or 14-days holiday. We also want something that is not dependent entirely on sunshine. Although we love our nation very much, some of us tend to fly to other parts of the world where the sun is more reliable during the summer months. Noble Lords will know that millions of people fly to Majorca, Greece, the Costa Brava and other parts of the world. As a result, 663 Swanage is a declining town, almost dying. I believe that this provision will be a useful and valuable injection.
The marina is to house 250 yachts. It will provide recreational facilities and part and full-time jobs. My figures are different from those of my noble friend Lord Raglan. The construction of the 100 houses which, in some ways, are the infrastructure and which finance the creation of the breakwater, the repairs to the pier and the other good facilities now provided, currently means employment for 83 people of whom 50 are local. I hope that it will not be said that no work is being provided for local people. If there are 250 yachts—I am sure that there will be and that there will also be dinghies and similar craft—there is an enormous amount of spin-off in jobs and part-time work for local people.
There is opposition but I hope that not too much will be made of it. One knows that "antis" can be heavily and adroitly organised. Perhaps CND taught us that, if nothing else. However, it may not be entirely representative of the view of the town's people. I should like to list some of the bodies which support the proposal and which were elected by well-disciplined voting. First and foremost there is Swanage Town Council. Other bodies that support the proposal are Purbeck District Council, Dorset County Council (as a highway, strategic planning and tourist authority). Dorset Tourism Association, Swanage Chamber of Trade, Swanage Hoteliers Association. Swanage Development Action Group representing local businesses, Wessex Water Authority, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Swanage Sailing Club and Royal Yachting Association, Swanage Sailing School, Swanage Diving School and the Swanage Pier Trust.
I ask the House to consider seriously the fact that the town is fading out. Ten years ago there were 12 or more hotels in the town. Now there are two. The rest have been closed down and the last one to have been closed, the Corrie Hotel, is being converted into old people's homes. That is symptomatic of what is happening to the town and we need a magnet to attract young parents and their children.
I should like to quote from a paragraph in the report. It is an admirable report and the House owes a debt of gratitude to those noble Lords who worked so hard. However, I wish that the committee had included a map. One must look at a map to see that there are two miles of beach to the north of the project and therefore masses of space for those who wish to exercise themselves on the beach. The report reads:the Committee feel that unless Swanage seizes this chance for the development of its coastal facilities, the opportunity will not occur again. If that were so, the people of Swanage could now and in the future be the losers".With that message, I hope that the House will pass the Bill tonight and send it to the other place where local MPs can take part in a detailed examination, making sure that all the points which arise are being dealt with by the developers. I hope that the House will give the Bill a Third Reading.
§ 7.20 p.m.
§ Lord Stewart of Fulham
My Lords. I should first like to refer to the argument put forward by the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, suggesting that the House ought not to oppose the Third Reading of a Private Bill. The noble Lord stated clearly the dilemma in which a noble Lord is placed when he is told at Second Reading. "You must not vote against Second Reading, so as to give a Committee the opportunity to examine the Bill". At Third Reading he is then told, "The Committee has examined the Bill so you must not disagree with them". If noble Lords accept that argument, there is no stage at which the House as a whole can express a view.
Both in this House and in another place we make great use of the device of handing over part of our work to the committees. We always do so on the assumption that the last word rests with the House as a whole. I do not think that we can accept therefore as a general rule the idea that if a Select Committee has voted a particular way, we are obliged to follow that recommendation. We do not disregard it without thought, but we are certainly entitled to disregard it if after consideration we believe it right. I hope that the House will accept therefore that while we may be doing something unusual, we are not doing something that is either improper or against the rules of the House. Indeed, if you accept the alternative proposition that we ought never to reject a committee's report, you are throwing away part of the constitutional authority of the House as a whole, which ought to be preserved.
I think that we should take note of the special nature of this Bill. It rather resembles the enclosure Acts which were passed in the early years of the last century, in which the lord of the manor would take over what were believed to be common rights and convert them to his own use with the result that a large number of villagers were deprived of their livelihood.
There was some argument between the noble Earl, Lord Onslow, and my noble friend Lord Raglan as to whether the fishermen and others in Swanage had rights. I think it is probably true to say that legally they had not. However, by long understanding and belief it was supposed that they had those rights. That was the position of the commoners at the time of the enclosure Acts; they were told that rights which everyone had assumed were theirs did not in fact belong to them. They found that they could no longer collect firing or turf from the common or pasture their animals on it. They were pushed into a position of complete poverty and subjection.
§ The Earl of Onslow
With respect, this is not what the Bill will do. For the first time it will actually give those fishermen something which they can buy or sell. Their rights are being increased by this Bill. It is not akin to the common law enclosure Act in any way whatsoever.
§ Lord Stewart of Fulham
My Lords, in the first place, those concessions were made during the course of discussion and as a result of criticism. Secondly, they do not apply to all fishermen. There will still be fishermen in Swanage who as a result of this Bill will 665 find themselves deprived of their livelihood. In addition, the fishery industry in Swanage has also been the subject of educational visits by parties of children to study marine life, and indeed also to study the working of the lifeboat. Both of these opportunities will be removed as a result of this Bill. I know that the lifeboat itself remains, but I do not think that it w ill be possible for parties of children to visit the lifeboat in future.
I think that you will also find that on every issue that has been raised—the lifeboat, the fisheries, the beaches,—you could not get a definite answer. If you study what the report says about the beaches it comes down eventually on a hopeful sign, hopeful from the promoter's point of view. However, they were obviously in doubt as to the result of the breakwater and its effect on the tide and the beaches. There is a very unusual and peculiar motion of the tides round Swanage which would he interfered with one way or another by the creation of this breakwater. We do not know for certain whether, in the end, a massive job of trying to replace sand would be necessary.
We are being asked to consider a Bill which may inflict very serious damage on the people of Swanage when nobody has been able to establish with any certainty that it would not. I am inclined to begin, as the noble Lord, Lord Alport, began, by giving the benefit of the doubt to the petitioners. I am sorry that he did not stick to that view because we are left with the fact that the petitioners and the townsfolk run the risk of loss in respect of the fisheries, the beaches, the opportunities for children and the general amenity of the town.
Against that the benefits to be conferred are again a matter of dispute. Various estimates have been put forward, but none of them with convincing evidence as to the amount of employment that will be created by a marina of this size. The marina itself cannot create very much employment. I think, too, that it may be difficult for the promoters in the event to run a marina merely of the size proposed. I think it is now accepted that they have the resources to do what they say in the Bill that they will do; but whether the erection of a marina of this size will prove in the end to be a worthwhile and viable proposition is a very different matter. It would be unfortunate if Swanage has to come to this House again in a few years' time to try to enlarge or duplicate the marina.
The final point that I should like to make relates to the continued assertion that Swanage is rundown and dying. It is true that there are fewer people staying in hotels. However, when the noble Lord, Lord Orr-Ewing, says there are only two hotels, I think that he means only two are mentioned in the Automobile Association's guide book. If you walk along the streets of Swanage you will find there are a great many more than that, a very great many indeed. What has happened is that people are now taking holidays in flatlets or in caravans rather than in hotels. This of course means that there are people spending money in the town; there has merely been a change in habit in the way people take their holidays. I think that it cannot be maintained that Swanage is running down or that we should be denying opportunities of recreation to young people. The 666 fisheries and the boats of Swanage will provide a great deal of healthy activity for young people, to say nothing of the facilities for walking and cycling round Swanage itself.
It is important to remember that Swanage is not merely a town, it is the central town of the Isle of Purbeck, one of the most beautiful parts of this country. It is that which attracts a number of people to take their holidays in Swanage and provides healthy activity in walking and cycling for young people. I think therefore that those who say that Swanage is dying on its feet have not considered the many ways in which the people of Swanage make use of their town. This was what they expressed in the poll.
You can argue until you are black in the face but you cannot argue away the fact that at the end of five hours of voting, which was all that was allowed, when it was pouring with rain and bitterly cold, 54 per cent. of those entitled to vote went out and did so. On a local issue, as most noble Lords will know, this is a considerable figure. Of those who voted, 70 per cent. voted against the marina. The most deplorable suggestion has been made as to why they did so. The promoters have suggested some of them were physically intimidated, although no serious evidence of that is advanced. The noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy, suggested that the opposition was motivated by people who had their own scheme and were moved by feelings of sour grapes. There may be some. However I know Swanage fairly well, I have been on holiday there many times, and I have never encountered any. What I did encounter was a large number of Swanage citizens, ordinary decent Swanage citizens, who disliked this project because it appeared to damage the beauty and the prosperity of their town. At the end of the day —
Lord Campbell of Croy
My Lords, I am most grateful to the noble Lord for giving way to me. My point was that they were voting on what had been presented to them as a sort of horror story haven, and I just read out three of the points from the main leaflets which were circulated, which were completely false and very frightening.
§ Lord Stewart of Fulham
My Lords, I will accept that on one or two points the noble Lord, is able to show that there were exaggerations. On the other hand, those who were urging for a no-vote were not like those on the other side who were going round presenting pens and pencils to people who would vote in the required way. If we are going to argue as to how the poll was conducted, and as to the arguments that were advanced, there is quite a lot that could be said but I doubt whether there is very much profit in doing that.
When you finish with it, the actual vote remains an impressive demonstration of the wishes of the people of Swanage and in a case where every issue is in doubt and uncertain, and where the wrong decision may destroy the character of this beautiful and lovely place, the wishes of those who took the trouble to go to vote should be given great weight.
§ 7.31 p.m.
§ Lord Greenway
My Lords, I am sure that the noble Lord, Lord Stewart, will not be surprised if I take an opposite view to him, because I followed him on Second Reading. I think I am happy to follow the noble Lord, Lord Campbell, in all that he has said. If I may say so, he put forward a very fair and factual account of what is at stake here and I see no reason to alter in any way my support for this Bill.
If I may start, as the noble Lord, Lord Campbell, has already said, by getting rid of the lifeboat question, there was a lot of talk about how unsatisfactory would be the new arrangements for the lifeboat. Indeed the RNLI was lobbied to get it to take part in opposing this marina scheme. As a member of the public relations committee of the lifeboat, I have to say that the lifeboat is not in the business of being involved in saying whether a scheme is good or a scheme is bad. The lifeboat is there to do a job of saving lives at sea and to see that proper provision is made to enable the lifeboat to carry out that task.
As the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy, has said, the RNLI has signed an agreement with the promoters and is totally satisfied with the arrangements made. There is an advantage to this, in that an afloat berth in a marina allows the use of a larger and faster lifeboat, so that the facilities for the lifeboat will perhaps be better than they are at present. In addition, it has been suggested that the existing slip might silt up as a result of a marina being built. I understand that there is no evidence to support that and the present lifeboat house and slip will remain available for the use of the RNLI.
The noble Lord, Lord Raglan, said that those who have orchestrated the local opposition to this Bill are to be congratulated, and I think I might go along with him on that. They have produced what I can only describe as a cleverly orchestrated scheme based on deliberate misinformation. The noble Lord talked about a massive instrusion into the bay of Swanage and he went on to describe the delights of Swanage Bay, which I know well, having spent many of my childhood holidays in the Grosvenor Hotel, which is at the centre of this whole scheme. The marina as such, even including the area of jurisdiction outside it, will only take up 2.5 per cent. of Swanage Bay, which really is a very small proportion; and I think that if you see an aerial photograph showing the area taken up it cannot in any way be argued that it is a monstrous intrusion upon the bay.
The noble Lord went on to say that the area where the marina is to be built is a much-frequented one. That is not my understanding, having talked to several of the residents of Swanage. In fact, I believe that before our Select Committee went down to view the area a whole load of schoolchildren had to be bussed in with fishing nets and all the rest of it to show that it was, in fact, used. That is just another instance of the deliberate misinformation that has been brought forward.
I will not go too deeply into the fishing question, except to say that I think the local full-time resident fishermen have been extremely well treated under the Bill. I think that the promoters have met all their 668 objections. On the question of how the scheme might affect fishing, often constructions of this sort, in some strange way—and I do not intend to go into the issue in any detail—enhance fishing.
Swanage is a half-moon bay, as the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, described it. As a result of that, the currents that go around it are not particularly strong. The main current comes down from Poole and whistles past outside Peveril Point down towards Anvil Point, so I do not think there will be any violent movement of sand; besides which the whole hydrodynamic question has been gone into in great detail by acknowledged experts in the field. Their work was vetted by a gentleman from Southampton University who was hired by Purbeck District Council to keep an eye on things, and, at the end, he expressed himself satisfied with what had taken place. He said that the results were what one would expect and finished by saying that the portents remained favourable.
We have heard much about the past delights of Swanage—the splendid sands, the bucket-and-spade brigade and all the rest of it. I will not dwell on that, except to say that I think those days are definitely gone. Swanage has indeed lost 40 per cent. of its hotel beds in the last five years and I believe that there are two more hotels to be added to that.
I now come to the question of precedent which was raised by the noble Lord, Lord Raglan. I was a very new Member of your Lordships' House when the Felixstowe Bill was considered. That, as the noble Lord, the Chairman of Committees intimated, was quite a different issue. It was very much a political issue, which involved nationalisation and was a matter that would better have been dealt with by a major government Bill and not by a private Bill. I think that the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, scored an own goal by saying that that Bill came to this House last; it was the last attempt that anyone had to alter the Bill. In this case, as we have heard, the Bill has still an opportunity of going to another place, where all the relevant new detail can be discussed, so it is not, in my opinion, a similar situation.
However much one may object to progress—and I respect those who feel that way—it cannot be stopped in the long term. It is interesting to recall that when the railway first came to that part of Dorset the local residents bitterly opposed any extension of the line from Wareham to Swanage. It took Swanage 20 years to get a railway line. Are we now to see Swanage, which has waited so long for a breakwater or a harbour of some kind, miss out once again? I support the Bill.
§ 7.40 p.m.
§ Lord Foot
My Lords, as has already been made clear to the House, the Select Committee was divided upon this issue. It was divided in the proportions of three to two. I was one of the minority of two and I hope that it is permissible and possibly even helpful if I follow the lead of the noble Lord, Lord Alport, and explain briefly to the House why I came to the conclusion I did.
However, before I do that I shall make three preliminary observations. First, I do not think it 669 possible in the time that we have available in the House tonight to review again all the manifold issues which arose during the course of the Select Committee. It is very easy to select particular parts of the discussion which happen to suit one's case but I shall try to refrain from doing that because there is a quite different consideration which I wish to put before the House.
Secondly, I do not in any way in anything that I say criticise the decision which was arrived at by my three colleagues who formed the majority. Indeed I am very happy to acknowledge the very great benefit that we gained from the chairmanship of the noble Lord, Lord Alport. I am sure that all my colleagues will be at one on that but perhaps I may say that I do not think—I address these remarks to the noble Lord, Lord Greenway—that anything is gained by an exchange of accusations of deliberate misrepresentation by one side in the argument about the other.
The noble Lord, Lord Greenway, committed a complete misrepresentation when he spoke about the lifeboat. Nobody contends that if this breakwater is built it will be possible to maintain the launching base for the lifeboat. Nobody contends that at all. Everybody agrees that the chute down which the lifeboat comes is going to be next door to the breakwater and that that part of the beach in any case will silt up as a result of the building of the breakwater. It is very simple for people to accuse the other side of deliberate misrepresentation. Of course I do not accuse the noble Lord, Lord Greenway, of doing anything of the kind, but I think it would be better if we tried to refrain from exchanges of that kind.
Thirdly—this may appear to be a concession to the argument on the other side—although there are clearly precedents for throwing a Bill out on Third Reading, as has been made perfectly clear, I nevertheless accept what the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, has told us: that this would be unusual. I also accept that the House should be—I think rightly—reluctant to throw out a private Bill of this kind which has gone through the process of a Select Committee that sat for seven days and made its own inspection. I think that the House should be reluctant to throw the Bill out at this stage. But, having said that, I considered at the time when the Select Committee sat and when it came to its conclusion and I consider now that there is one particular feature of this private Bill which makes it a private Bill of a most unusual character. That is a feature which justified the minority in voting against the Bill then and which would in my view justify the House rejecting this Bill tonight.
I must explain that this is not a legal point. It is a point which is basic to the consideration of the argument about this Bill. As any of your Lordships who have sat upon a Select Committee considering a proposal for a development of this kind will know, we are always told—and rightly told—that the burden of proving that what is proposed by the promoters is in the public interest rests upon the promoters. It is not the business of the petitioners to try to prove the contrary.
670 That principle is one which in my view has a special importance in this case. I say that for the following reason. Often proposals of this kind which come in the form of a private Bill are made by statutory undertakers who are trying to seek powers to carry out their statutory obligations. That is one form of private Bill of this kind. Another kind of private Bill is one promoted by a local authority which again is seeking powers to carry out the obligations that it feels it owes to its district and to its electors.
The third form of such a private Bill is instigated by a property owner living in a locality who wants to get permission to develop the property in one way or another and who for sonic reason cannot get it through the ordinary planning procedures. He comes and presents a private Bill in order to enable him to carry out that development.
This Bill is quite different from all those three usual cases. It is different in the sense that it is promoted by a private entrepreneur, not by a statutory undertaking, not by a local authority and not by someone who lives and has property in a place and who wants to develop it. It is a proposal coming from a private entrepreneur who is seeking authority first to take over an existing pier and to undertake the responsibilities and acquire the rights of the company which has hitherto managed the pier and secondly to assume jurisdiction over about 20 acres of the open sea. Thirdly, he seeks permission to build in the open sea a pier or breakwater which will create an artificial harbour. Having done that, the entrepreneur or his company on his behalf seeks to have the powers of the harbour authority over the development.
It seems to me that there are two special features about the promoter's proposal which are not really in dispute. I do not really think that one of them will be questioned by any side in the controversy. That is that for better or for worse this proposed development will have a profound impact upon Swanage and upon Swanage Bay. The second feature which I suggest cannot be disputed is that this is a straightforward, plain commercial venture. It is not the case of a promoter who is seeking this permission because he is under any duty or obligation to carry out this development. So far as I know, nobody in Swanage ever asked him to provide them with a marina. He is admittedly promoting the Bill because there is a prospect of a large-scale commercial enterprise. There is nothing wrong in that; there is no reason why a person should not put forward a proposal of that kind. However, I consider that there are two features of the problem which serve to emphasise that the burden to satisfy us that their scheme is indeed in the public interest rests heavily on the promoters. They must show that what they are proposing to do is in the public interest.
Perhaps I may put forward three propositions. The first is that the public interest in this case is synonymous and coincidental with the interests of Swanage and the people who live and work there. That is the public interest with which we are concerned. Secondly, the private interests of the developers in putting forward this commercial exercise are immaterial when we are considering the public interest in the matter.
671 My third proposition, which I urge on the House, is that the people who know best what is in their own interests and in the interests of Swanage are the people who live there. That notion may be very old-fashioned. However, I suggest that it is not for any outside body or authority to tell the people of Swanage what is good for them. Indeed, I do not think that it is the business of a Select Committee I do not suggest that it was done—to tell the people of Swanage what it thinks is good for them.
What do the people of Swanage want? We shall never get unanimity on that matter; that would be beyond all expectation. However, there are two things which are abundantly clear as the result of the hearing before the Select Committee. I believe that the majority of three who were in favour of the promoter's case will agree with me that there were many real and grave apprehensions among some sections of the population of Swanage about what the proposal means for the future of the harbour.
The second matter which I do not think will be in dispute is that there were very strong objections by people who have a lifelong and long-standing interest in the welfare of Swanage and its people. I estimate, having sat through the whole of the inquiry, that at the end of it those apprehensions were not allayed and the strong objections which were presented to the committee were maintained.
The committee was at a disadvantage, in that there was no way in which it could, at that stage, make more than a guess as to what the people of Swanage felt. However, as a result of the poll, we now know. There can no longer be any reasonable doubt as to the prevailing view of the people of Swanage. Therefore, if we say that the Bill should go on and if we do not stop it now, we shall be making our own views on the matter prevail over what is clearly the desire and wish of the great majority of people in Swanage.
The noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy, quoted some of the objections he had to the leaflet which was sent. I wonder when an election was ever held in which, after the result was declared, the losers were perfectly happy about the propaganda which had been issued by the winning side. No doubt there have been misrepresentations in the matter on both sides. But, when one considers the effect of that particular leaflet, one must ask who was in a better position than the people themselves to understand and realise the truth or otherwise of what was being asserted. They could easily judge—they live there—whether the little picture on the front was a proper representation of the height of the breakwater. They have been considering and discussing the matter over the last two years. Does the noble Lord really suggest that the result of that poll was achieved by a single leaflet which he contends was misleading on three points?
Lord Campbell of Croy
My Lords, perhaps the noble Lord will very kindly give way so that I may answer. He compared the poll to an election. However, my point was that the only information which the electorate had about the candidate was wrong. It was as though they were being given a 672 different candidate and were voting for Mr. Smith instead of for Mr. Jones. The choice of haven was not the haven in the Bill; it was quite different.
§ Lord Foot
My Lords, I do not see that that is a false manifesto or a misrepresentation of the situation. However, I do not want to get involved in controversy with anyone, least of all the noble Lord. I urge on the House that we should hesitate a long time before we deliberately reject what are now transparently and openly the wishes of the people of Swanage in the matter.
§ 7.55 p.m.
§ Lord Greenhill of Harrow
My Lords, I have known Swanage all my life and I consider that the Dorset coast in that area is one of the most beautiful parts of this country. I have a great affection for it. My affection does not equal that of the noble Lord, Lord Stewart of Fulham, which he has demonstrated tonight and to which he refers in his very agreeable autobiography.
I approached the work of the committee with an anxiety to protect the environment of the area and a strong interest in the wellbeing of the townsfolk. At the same time, I was aware that the fortunes of the town had declined in recent times. Whatever else has been said, I do not think that anyone can reasonably maintain that its fortunes have risen. It is clear that they have declined.
At the time that I started work with the committee, I was not aware that two similar projects had been considered since the war. I did not know of the third project to which the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy, referred. Therefore, the idea of a harbour and marina within Swanage Bay has been in the minds of the people of Swanage for nearly 40 years. It is not a new idea. Having listened to the evidence which was given to the committee, I nevertheless reluctantly came to the conclusion that the Bill should be supported. It was not a conclusion that I wanted to reach. But in the event, I was convinced that it was logically and socially correct.
I should like to explain the reasons why I voted to support the Bill. Those reasons very closely resemble the reasons that the noble Lord, Lord Alport, has already given to the House. The first is that the economic future of the town is uncertain. I do not believe that can be contested. The town has been declining and the probability is that it will further do so. It is the victim of the change in holiday fashions and the rise in the standard of living of most of the people. The fall in the cost of European air fares which we were promised last week in the House will no doubt accelerate further the development of the package holiday while the number of bucket and spade visitors, so dear to the heart of Swanage, may well decline further.
673 As the noble Lord, Lord Orr-Ewing, has stated, Swanage has a very short holiday season of six weeks and at the best of times its holiday earnings are limited. The marina will extend the season by many weeks and I suggest that the takings in the town for the extended holiday season will be very greatly superior to what has happened previously.
The fishing industry and the fishermen of Swanage have done well. They have marketed their catch in France very successfully. I do not believe that there is anything in the Bill which will prevent the expansion of the local fishing industry and I do not consider that it is threatened.
The second point that influenced me was the realisation by the townspeople that a change must be made. That was clearly shown by the planning approval given for 100 flats proposed to be built by Durrant Developments. These flats are of a kind hitherto new to the town. The architecture may not he to everyone's taste, but there can be no argument that these flats will bring to the town a different type of person who will substantially contribute to trade and to employment. All this has been accepted already by the people of Swanage.
The third point that influenced me was that a yacht haven is a natural complement to this type of housing development. As I pointed out, the new housing and the plan are no novelty to the people of Swanage.
The question was whether the yacht haven could be built without irreparable damage to the interests of those who live in the town. Doubt centred on the following points. The scheme involves the building of a substantial mole encroaching on available space hitherto used by the public and by professional and amateur fishermen. A substantial rearrangement of long-established moorings would become necessary. That is not impossible. Indeed, special arrangements have been made to accommodate the fishermen, who are already enjoying the moderate prosperity of their industry.
The mole obstructs the beautiful view enjoyed by a number of residents. I sympathise with them, but I must point out that the number of residents is strictly limited and, as was pointed out when we visited the town, it is only the view from their ground floor rooms which is blocked across the harbour. The view from the upstairs rooms is in no way affected.
I believe the mooring problem can be solved satisfactorily locally. Expert opinion on the effect of the mole upon the fishing and the seabed is that it will be negligible, although it is claimed that this opinion is based upon insufficient evidence and the opinion cannot be certain, as the noble Lord, Lord Stewart, pointed out. It is suggested that the evidence is not precise and definite. In any case, the developers have undertaken to make good any unexpected and unacceptable developments. My conclusion therefore is that the marina and the flats will contribute to a more sure economic future for the town at an acceptable cost to the environment and at no financial cost to the residents of Swanage.
It is natural for some people to like things to remain as they now are. I was very recently in the Falkland Islands, and that was exactly the view taken 674 by the Falkland Islanders. That attitude is to be found everywhere, and from time to time I share it. But it can be selfish and unwarranted if it prejudices the prospects of a later generation.
The town council has already approved the development plan and its approval was repeated after the referendum or the vote to which the noble Lord, Lord Foot, attaches so much importance. The elected representatives of the people of Swanage, having seen the result of the vote, nevertheless repeated their approval of the plan. So I do not believe that we can be accused of overriding the wishes of the people if their representatives have supported the plan. Therefore, I feel that the plan should go forward.
§ 8.7 p.m.
§ Lord Wynford
My Lords, like the noble Lord, Lord Greenhill of Harrow, who has just spoken, have known Swanage for a very long time. It was in fact 60 years ago that I first went there as a boy of 10 camping with the Scouts. I have continued to visit Swanage—at irregular intervals, I admit because of my way of life—but the fact is that I have kept in touch.
One of the main reasons is that my home is some 25 miles away to the west along the Dorset coast behind the Chesil beach. That beach is stony and very dangerous to bathe from. For that reason we sometimes, as a family, would visit Swanage. We have continued to go there since, as well as visiting other places. Some of my grandchildren are at school there now and I find myself going there to watch athletics, football matches and the like.
I claim therefore to know something of Swanage, and I have paid particular attention to the town in the past six months. I was there on 1st May this year just before the Second Reading of this Bill. I spent a day there—and a very fine day it was—talking to people. Having said that, I feel that it would not be right to do what I first intended. That was to re-emphasise the statutory poll. It has I think been thoroughly covered.
If your Lordships will bear with me, I have it in mind to say something about the development of the approach road from Wareham to Swanage. During the holiday season this road has great significance for the numerous population, as I shall explain. It goes back into the hinterland behind Swanage. I have carried out an examination. The area in question starts at the sea with the Isle of Purbeck and then Swanage along the coast. One step further inland there is Wareham, a fairly large town and increasing steadily in size—the centre of the area I am talking about. Further back, there is Bere Regis, forming the top of my move inland, so to speak.
It is in fact 18 miles by road from Swanage to Bere Regis. Therefore, I am dealing with an area 18 miles deep. I have taken 10 miles as an average for its breadth, which gives 180 square miles. As it is irregular on its eastward side where it touches Poole harbour—the Arne peninsula and all those pieces—I have cut down to 150 square miles the area which I call, for simplicity, the catchment area of Swanage.
In that catchment area, as I have found in travelling all over it and noting the changes every 675 year, there is a huge variety of accommodation. There are of course a few private houses in which people live all the year round. But there are fewer hotels and boarding houses. I am told by local people that by far the most popular holiday residences are flats let for a week or a fortnight. There are bed and breakfast establishments. There are camping sites, by which I mean sites under canvas. There arc caravan parks, some very extensive ones towards Lulworth. One has 600 caravans. There are holiday cottages which are nearly always surplus to agricultural requirements let on weekly or fortnightly terms. There are also the second homes of those who live in the big conurbations of London and the Midlands. I know that because there is one on my farm. It is occupied by people from the Midlands. These second homes may sometimes be sub-let and so come into the general supply of holiday accommodation.
For all the people living in this area, Swanage is an easy day round trip for the family. I do not think I am exaggerating—I have asked people about this—when I say that in spring, summer and early autumn there may be peak periods when the normal population of the area is quadrupled. On that basis of calculation, taking 15,000 as the normal winter population, the peak population becomes 60,000. Therefore, we are talking about 60,000 people. They do not all want to go to Swanage. Some may go to Bournemouth and Weymouth. But these are the people who can reach Swanage in a day trip. It is, in fact, their closest seaside place.
There is a change taking place. The road from Wareham down to Swanage, is being immensely improved. It used to be a terrible road for falling rocks causing traffic congestion. There are large scale works going on now which will not be finished until next summer. But, already, journeys are starting to be a much quicker and less fraught operation for a family.
That is the potential of what I call the landward-side people. I do not see why they cannot be given some consideration. Everybody speaks about Swanage itself as just a town. But one needs to consider the people along the route through the Isle of Purbeck to the sea who probably come back year after year. They are looking for the sort of pleasures that Swanage happens to be very well provided with. Apart from fishing, dinghy sailing and wind surfing there are the pleasure steamers and facilities for family sea bathing and children's sea sports, as I call them—shrimping and collecting crabs in jam pots. There is the country park, a new development within walking distance of Swanage and a good one I am told, though I have not seen it. There are the downs walks around Swanage in the beautiful green hills which surround it like an ampitheatre. Lastly, there is the heritage coastal footpath which, passing through Swanage, continues through the rest of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, and up the other side of Cornwall and Devon, ending I know not where. It is a footpath that one would take three, four or five days to cover. That is the sort of variety that these people are looking for. It is what they look forward to and what they book up to do.
676 I ask myself: can it be right to superimpose a marina on this charming scheme. It would be all very well if there was room as, for example, at Brighton where there is a straight coast. There is lots more room there for people who want to enjoy the sea. However, this is a different matter. We have here what I call a question mark. It is a hook with a long tail coming out under it. The hook is where all these interesting things happen and that is exactly where they intend to build a marina.
Many of your Lordships have referred to Swanage Bay as large. It looks quite large even on a road map. On a chart it looks even larger. However, the whole thing is reduced down to this crook, and that is where everything happens. It cannot go further down the coast just because someone says it should. It is not like that. The cliffs become rather dangerous further down.
A feature of Swanage is that it is very safe for children. I maintain that there is not enough space to add a large and separate enterprise to what is already there. There are the disadvantages—what I call the unkown factors. No one really knows the answer to the shifting sands and the sewage. The sewage is to be cut up, but it only sinks to the bottom. The water looks clear, so you assume clear water until you possibly feel what is under your feet.
We should consider the interests of the far greater numbers in the landward catchment area which I have been talking about rather than the yachtsmen. The interests of the landward catchment area must prevail because of the numbers. Which of these two interests—the landward interests or the sailing man—is, in the instructions to the Select Committee, "in the public interest?" What has happened to "the character of Swanage and its bay?"
Surely, new yacht havens should be sited at places where commercial, maritime or even Royal Navy functions have faded away, for reasons which we all know. The situations in those places are quite different. To my mind those are the places for marinas. For example, at Portland there is a harbour with over four square miles of sheltered water within existing sea walls. The whole Home Fleet used to go in there until the outbreak of the Second World War. That is somewhere to start. Personally, I fully support the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, and I will act with him in whatever way he sees fit.
§ 8.23 p.m.
§ Lord Campbell of Alloway
My Lords, I declare an interest having tendered professional advice in the Temple to the promoters of the Bill in the context of the conduct of the poll on 12th November. That is the extent of the interest that I declare. Although there was no breach of the parish and community meetings polls rules—Statutory Instrument No. 1 of 1987—on the information that I have seen, I am greatly troubled about the conduct of this poll and I wish to share with your Lordships some of my concern, much of which has already been most ably put before your Lordships by my noble friend Lord Campbell of Croy.
677 It comes to this. On any objective analysis, this poll that is relied upon as the mainstay to challenge the findings of the Select Committee of your Lordships' House—in effect, that is what it is, no more no less—is wholly unreliable as a fair reflection of local opinion. Moreover, I question whether this is an appropriate stage of the Bill to reopen and re-argue the merits of the principle of the Bill or, with respect to my noble friend Lord Wynford and his most interesting speech given with the advantage of much local knowledge, whether questions such as the approach road or the catchment area of Swanage and whether there is room or the need for the proposals in the Bill, are appropriate matters for consideration on Third Reading, having particular regard to the fact that they have all been answered, "Yes, we approve of these proposals", by the Dorset County Council.
What is our function? It is interesting to listen to objections but this House is now procedurally at the Third Reading stage of the Bill. The Select Committee, by a majority, approved the Bill on 23rd July. It issued its report on 29th October. The town poll was held on 23rd November. On the very same day the Swanage town council took note and, by a majority of seven to five, maintained its support for the vote of approval for the Bill passed in June 1987. On 4th December the Purbeck Council confirmed its support for the Bill.
One talks of sewerage. The Wessex Water Authority is continuing its support for the Bill, as it always has done along with the Dorset County Council—and small wonder, because the present sewage disposal system is hazardous in the extreme, with a short pipe running into the sea and raw sewage being visible at times. The new maceration plant, or whatever it is called, which my clients, the promoters of the Bill, have now undertaken to pay for, would cost some £2 million to £3 million, on my information, and that would be a saving to the Wessex Water Authority.
I have looked into the matter and, so far as I am aware, there is no precedent for the holding of a town poll such as occurred after the special report of the Select Committee. Even if the poll were a reliable reflection of local opinion—which it is not—to accept the amendment would not only make a nonsense of the due processes of local government but, as was expounded by my noble friend the Chairman of Committees, it would be contrary to accepted practice. Further, it would, in that sense, be contrary to our procedures, unless of course there were cogent reasons which moved your Lordships to, in effect, reject this Bill.
The noble Lord, Lord Raglan, as I understand it, put forward two reasons. One was that the Select Committee failed to deal with the instruction. That is a matter for your Lordships, but has that charge been made out? From what I have heard in this debate I suggest that it has not been made out.
The second reason, as I understand the noble Lord, is his main one and is this town poll—the reflection of the will of local opinion. The campaign against this Bill in the run-up to the town poll was not only 678 designed to mislead but was designed to confuse: consider the pamphlet Why the Vote Must Be No, material published in the Purbeck Mail and the trick vote cards with "Vote No" with the poll number and name. The promoters sought, in answer, to draw attention to this measure of deception in their own pamphlet—which I have seen—upon the issue which divides Swansea, and quotations were made from the Select Committee report.
The result of any poll conducted in an atmosphere of deception—be it wilful or innocent—is always suspect. This poll was conducted—as my noble friend Lord Campbell of Croy has mentioned— in such an atmosphere of deception. Indeed, as part of this campaign a petition was offered for signature, which stated:If this Bill is passed this whole area could he closed to the public and the fishermen would he pushed out and our beach lost for five or six years".There are six reasons why I think—and I do not deal with the question of instructions, because other noble Lords have dealt with that—this poll is of no assistance to your Lordships tonight. It is also of no assistance, I would respectfully suggest, to the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, who relies so strongly upon it as his main reason to throw the Bill out.
First, there is the campaign literature which preceded this poll and which stated two grounds of opposition—Category A, a bigger sea wall was needed and Category B, no sea wall at all. But the form of the question put by the organisers, against the background of the "yes—no" campaign, was related solely to the proposal in the Bill which the Category A opponents might well have accepted. This is a serious defect in the electoral mechanism, and it flaws any reliance upon that poll.
Secondly, there was the question of the sea wall, as depicted not only in the material for the campaign but also in the Purbeck Mail, which suggested that it would totally obscure the magnificent views of Swanage and the hills. It was a trick, fake, false presentation, and no doubt intended as such. That is a serious matter of deception which renders unreliable a poll conducted in such a way.
It was then wrongly stated that 25,000 tons of sand would be lost. That again was a misleading and totally wrong suggestion. Also it was mentioned—I think it was in answer to a hypothetical question—that there would be no groynes. There is no question about it; there are groynes and there will be groynes. This statement was seriously misleading. With this kind of poll many people who have business interests in the town are disfranchised if they live outside.
As regards to the question of pushing the fishermen out, there is no question of pushing them out. Indeed, the position in relation to the fishermen is fairly straightforward. There are about 30 to 40 boats, with about 12 full-time fishermen who have moorings inside the harbour, and the rest are part-time or seasonal. The part-time and seasonal are outside the harbour but, nonetheless, they use the town boat park. Those moorings are to be replaced free of 679 charge and under the proposals of the Bill a fishermen's quay—which does not exist at the moment—is to be constructed. How, apart from wishing to mislead, can it be said in all sincerity that the fishermen will he put out?
Of course there has been no objective consideration of the merits. For example, consider such matters as sewerage, roadworks and the lifeboat to which noble Lords have referred. The lifeboat would be the latest model, I understand, and would be berthed at the end of the most westerly pier extension.
Another important aspect is employment. For this purpose I am not entering into the area of discussion as to whether Swanage is run down or not. I should just like to deal with the stark fact that it has about the highest unemployment statistics in Dorset. Unemployment is a matter of particular concern—and always has been—to me and, I know, to all your Lordships. In its construction this scheme will provide, as I understand it—although I am open to correction—of the order of 300 jobs, and, when it has been constructed, there will be a permanent staff.
There is yet another aspect which has not been mentioned and that is that under this scheme there will be safe anchorage, free access to the marina and safe anchorage in storms. That is not a mere trifle because noble Lords who live in that part of the world will know that never a year passes without a boat being lost in a storm. This is a matter of importance and a matter, if your Lordships are so minded, which should weigh with this House.
As I have said, this is not the occasion to argue the merits but, on the grounds that I have sought to suggest, I hope your Lordships will not accept this amendment, which would wreck this Bill, make a mockery of local government and not be wholly in accordance with the accepted practice of the House.
§ Viscount Caldecote
My Lords, I should just like to ask, before the noble Lord sits down, whether he does not think he is being a little unkind, perhaps a little unfair, to a group of local honest people who are merely doing their best for what they regard as the good of their locality. He poured a lot of cold water on the local poll, which was conducted I understand, according to the law, and then accused the local people who had conducted it of deception. I think that is really going rather too far in the circumstances.
Secondly, may I ask the noble Lord how many permanent jobs a marina for 250 boats is going to produce? About six is the answer. Finally, I should like to ask the noble Lord whether he has ever—
§ Lord Denham
My Lords, if my noble friend will forgive me, I think the noble Viscount is going a little bit too far in coming in before my noble friend sits down. It is a matter of procedure. We have already had a very long debate and I hope that we can now get on with it as quickly as possible.
§ Lord Campbell of Alloway
My Lords, if I may briefly answer, I do not withdraw anything I said. I took great care to check my facts before I said what I said. I was relieved to hear that my noble friend Lord Campbell of Croy took virtually the same points that I took, and if the noble Viscount was present he will have heard him use the word "deception". I do not withdraw it.
§ Lord Campbell of Alloway
My Lords, my noble friend did not; well, I did. With facts such as these, I am in the habit of calling a spade a spade. I cannot assist on the subject of employment, because I do not have the figures.
§ 8.40 p.m.
Lord Wallace of Coslany
My Lords, unlike the noble Lord who has just sat down, I have no interest to declare except, perhaps, the preservation of some of the most beautiful spots around our coastline.
First, with the greatest of respect, I shall refer to what the Chairman of Committees said about the proceedings on Third Reading when he doubted the wisdom of voting against a Bill on Third Reading. He will recall that on some distant occasion a similar situation arose. I pointed out from the Front Bench that the Marquess of Salisbury advised the House on the Kent Water Bill of 1925 that the House was bound to support noble Lords in whose trust they placed the committee. Unless new evidence were produced, the House had a moral duty to support the Select Committee. Here is a clear case of new evidence being produced. It is of course rather unusual to have two dissenters publicly acknowledged. Secondly, there has been this debatable poll. That is another issue. I therefore suggest with great respect that there is every reason for the House to reconsider the whole position.
I do not want to take up much time, first, because my fellow dissenters covered the matters extensively. It has been said that there is a danger of some emotional appeal. I can assure noble Lords that there is no question of emotional reaction. Long hours spent listening to conflicting evidence and speeches tend to drain emotion. If any noble Lord has sat on a Select Committee, he will know what I mean.
After visiting Swanage, it is my considered opinion—if I had not visited Swanage it might have made a difference—that the development as outlined in the Bill constitutes a serious threat to the environment and character of Swanage. The magnificent and picturesque sweep of the bay would be eroded by the breakwater at the centre, even at high water. That would completely alter the whole scene. As I said, if I had not visited Swanage, I might have taken a contrary view. One or two other things arose during that visit. One was the attractive and popular little beach at Buckshaw, which will become a car park with added land reclaimed from the sea. In addition, a delightful footpath which we trudged would be diverted. By such diversion, it would lose its 681 attractive character. As I understand it, one would have to walk through the car park on the new footpath.
The housing side of the project was not a matter for the committee, although paragraph 21 of the report notes that it constitutes some change in the character of Swanage. It appears that the local authority is now concerned about stage 2 of the housing development affecting the town's character. I must agree that during the committee's visit to Swanage, the only blot on the landscape was the empty Grosvenor Hotel, which was in the process of being demolished and which we viewed from the garden of the hotel at which we had lunch. Otherwise, in not very pleasant weather, the view was serene and beautiful. I think that all my noble colleagues will agree about that even if they dissented in the committee.
Paragraph 23 of the report says that the economic arguments in favour of the development outweigh the damage to the environment. We had masses of evidence to consider but little by way of economic argument. It was said that the scheme would provide about 40 jobs, but there were no facts to justify that. The estimate is pure guesswork. The number could be six or seven, but who knows? We had no evidence on that point.
The small but thriving fishing industry would be threatened by the construction and development of' the breakwater. At the moment there is a healthy export of lobsters to the Continent. That has been referred to by other noble Lords. The construction of the breakwater, the necessary blasting and the eventual extent of the breakwater, is bound to have an effect upon the fish and alter the tidal flow. It has been argued that when the breakwater is in and is seasoned, it is possible that the lobsters will find it nice accommodation. So far, the lobsters have not been consulted.
We heard conflicting evidence. A great deal of' scientific evidence was given to the committee. I place some stress on the fact that the evidence given by the fishermen came from generations of experience. They know the sea. They know their job. They know how to treat the sea at its worst and at its best. The maceration of sewage completely foxed me. I can only imagine that the digestive organs of the fish will benefit from that maceration. I must confess it put me off fish for about a week.
I come to the debatable point of the poll. I understand that the local authority—it has been confirmed—eventually gave its approval to the proposal by a small majority. Someone said 7:5. Since the Committee report issued on 29th October, we have had this debatable poll. It is a statutory poll. We were told that it was conducted between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. in very wet and windy weather. Anyone who has had any experience of local government elections will know that it is a miracle that 54 per cent. of the people turned out on that occasion. It is evidence of the feeling about the Bill that we saw. My noble colleagues on the committee must agree that there was a great deal of feeling when we went down there. We were treated almost as VIPs.
682 The noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Alloway, has referred to all sorts of discreditable things that might have happened. It is possible that there was some exaggeration on the leaflet that was put out. Of course the development company had the backing of an influential, professional PR organisation. I must confess that I know nothing about a free distribution of pens and pencils and so on. If that happened during a local government election, an objection would soon be made to the returning officer, hut that is by the by. I do not know what evidence of that can be produced. It has been said in the House, and therefore must he accepted with some degree of concern.
There has been great public concern. Feelings are and have been running high. That is only natural. Swanage is a small community. In a large urban sprawl, people could not care less about anyone else. In a small community, everyone matters and everything that goes on matters. That is why, whatever its shortcomings, I regard the poll as of great significance. After all, we are a democracy. The view of the majority must be taken into account, protecting as it does the preservation of the character of Swanage. That is what those people voted for and they should be respected. Therefore, I sincerely and strongly support the amendment.
§ 8.50 p.m.
§ The Earl of Cork and Orrery
My Lords, perhaps noble Lords will be obliged to me because I intend to be exceedingly brief. I intend to repeat hardly anything that anyone else has said previously and I have something to say which is very nearly original in connection with this debate.
If I were making a sermon which I am not—I would take as my text a sentence at the end of the report which says:In the committee's opinion any fears about sewage have been set at rest".I am afraid that is all too likely to be true. It was evidently so in the case of' the committee, but not for me. I think it is a great danger that anybody should be lulled into a sense of security over this matter, not only in Swanage but elsewhere around our coast, where anyone may be thinking of embarking on a project of a similar kind. I am thinking in particular of sewage pollution within the yacht haven.
Plenty has been said, written and agreed about what comes out of the main sewage outfall from the town. This comes out into the sea. In what must in fairness be said to be considerable generosity, the promoters have undertaken to put this right and to maintain it at their own expense. That is to the benefit of the town council and to the whole of Swanage. However, it is a mistake to think—as some appear to do—that sewage is something which is generated entirely on land. It also comes out of boats. I have no doubt that anybody who has ever seen a large number of boats on moorings together will be quite aware of this fact.
Hardly anything has been said so far, even in the evidence given to the Select Committee, about sewage 683 generated within the harbour. Something is certainly said in the Bill that we are discussing. Clause 38(1) states:A person who within the yacht haven knowingly discharges or causes or permits to be discharged into the waters thereof any toxic, noxious or offensive matter…shall he liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale".Your Lordships know what not to do if you find yourselves on a mooring in this marina—you are not allowed to do it. How will anybody stop you doing it? There are likely to he 250 boats. I do not know how many people there will be at any one time. But if this law is to be enforced there will be the most marvellous outbreak of constipation in Swanage.
The Bill goes on to say:Nothing in subsection (1)"—that is the one which I have read out—shall affect the operation of Part II of the Control of Pollution Act 1974".The previous subsection was an almost exact quotation from that, except that the Act refers to poisonous, noxious or polluting matter.
I should be quite wrong to give the impression that the promoters are not aware of all this. In evidence to the Select Committee the promoter himself, Mr. Durrant, said:The opening of the toilets into the harbour is strictly forbidden and if people are caught they can lose their mooring".That was on day two, as reported at paragraph 3 on page 29. How will this be enforced? This law has been in force since 1974—for 13 years. Has it been enforced anywhere? Has it been observed anywhere? Can it be enforced anywhere? Is there the slightest likelihood that it will be enforced? I suggest that the answer to those questions is an emphatic no, it cannot be. Therefore, there will be pollution in the yacht haven.
What will the promoters do about that? The answer is in a way rather curious. They have referred to it in a rather oblique manner. Mr. Drinkwater, QC, counsel for the promoters, said:If…as a consequence of the construction of the works, any discharge material accumulated in the yacht haven or on the beaches in, or in the sea off, Swanage in such a manner as to be visible to the public",and so on, they will be responsible for getting rid of it. The technical words used are "discharge material". Discharge material is what comes out of the sewerage pipe into the sea below what we hope is high water. It does not apparently refer to the yacht haven.
Later Mr. Drinkwater referred to discharge material continuing to accumulate,in consequence of the construction of the works in the yacht haven or on the beaches in or in the sea off Swanage in such a manner as to be visible to the public in the yacht haven or on the beaches".The reference is to discharge material visible in the yacht haven.
It is difficult to refer to this issue without being disagreeable. He was still not talking about sewage generated within the yacht haven itself, within the boats. The noble Lord, Lord Greenhill of Harrow, 684 saw the fallacy or ambiguity of this. The noble Lord said this:If I understand you right, there are two sources of pollution: one is from the sea outfall of the sewage of Swanage town, and then there is pollution within the yacht haven which comes from the yachts?Mr. Drinkwater: Yes.Lord Greenhill of Harrow: All this covers both?Mr. Drinkwater: It does indeed and to the satisfaction, as drafted, of the water authority".What are they undertaking to do? The undertaking that they have given and that I read out a moment ago applies, according to that last statement, also to the sewage within the harbour. They have undertaken to chop it up small so that it cannot be seen, and that is all. Instead of having visible filth floating about in the harbour one will have invisible filth going down to the bottom. No power on earth will prevent this from being generated in the first place. Nobody is proposing to take it away in the second place. This is what is facing the people of Swanage with regard to the yacht haven. When the sewage goes down into the water I suspect that it will take with it that treasured blue flag awarded by the EC to the people of Swanage in appreciation of the purity of their water.
This point applies not only to Swanage, but everywhere. This is what occurs wherever one has a marina, if one has 1,000 boats or 250 boats. It is only a difference of scale. Although at Swanage the scale may be small it is also important. It is a small, round harbour with only one opening. The tidal currents cannot flow through: they flow in and out. The only ones who will enjoy this situation are the lobsters.
§ 8.59 p.m.
§ The Earl of Onslow
My Lords, I should like to take up the subject that my noble friend Lord Cork and Orrery has so delicately entered upon in this discussion: the question of sewage. The promoters demonstrated to us in committee that, far from the breakwater bringing sewage on to the shore, it was going to be pushed further out into the bay. We had many pretty graphs and many demonstrations showing that the sewage situation was going to be improved. One of the people rather delicately said that the only matter that worried them was cotton waste and chopped up rubber from the macerators. I shall leave it to your Lordships' consideration what that refers to.
When I was asked to sit on the committee, my first instinct was not to like the idea of the development at all. I thought it was unnecessary. I had not made up my mind. I had read the Second Reading debate but I did not feel sympathetic to the developers. When the committee sat, I had at the forefront of my mind the Instruction moved on Second Reading by the noble Lord, Lord Raglan.
However, I have o been convinced that the development will do good to the people of Swanage. As has been pointed out already by the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy, Swanage has a higher percentage of unemployed than most of the rest of Dorset and Hampshire. Mr. Bruce, the Member of Parliament for the area in another place, has just told 685 me of a letter that he has received. It is from a lady who says this:I have four children. Three have had to leave because there arc no jobs for them in Swanage. Please help the Bill through and they will get jobs.To pretend that a large development of this nature will not reduce jobs flies in the face of economic logic. It will produce ship's chandlers, a boat repairing facility and a need for people to work in restaurants and shops selling goods, clothing, and so on. To say that it will drive out what is called the "bucket and spade brigade" strikes me as being a fallacy. One has only to go to other marinas on the south coast or to Cowes to see the numbers of ordinary tourists gawking at yachts. It is a fun thing on holiday to go gawking at yachts.
The objectors struck me as being intensely conservative people, intensely worried people and utterly genuine people. But when I listened to the evidence in the case I was convinced in the end that they were misguided.
The leaflet Why You Must Vote No is unrecognisable as against the matter in regard to which I served on a committee for two weeks. Attached to it is a letter that most of your Lordships have received. It contains seven paragraphs. The first refers to loss of a fine sandy beach. This is nonsense. Then there is reference to the destruction of an historic beauty spot by the breakwater. As to the picture on the front, it looks like that if you stick yourself right under the breakwater at low tide and look up and become an aircraft spotter. It is said that the lifeboat will be displaced. The RNLI has not objected to it. It has accepted it. The institution knows its business. If it had been unhappy, I do not believe that we would have failed to listen to it with a great deal of sympathy. The fact that the RNLI did not object destroyed any evidence to the contrary. As I pointed out to the noble Lord, Lord Stewart of Fulham, 11 fishing boats—it was nine—now have sailable rights that they would not have had hitherto. Their rights have not been taken away.
Then there is reference to pollution of the bay by sewage and fuel. I think that we have heard enough of sewage. Several boats are fuelled by cans rather than by bowser or bunkering. Everybody knows that tipping petrol or diesel through a funnel in a rocking boat with even the slightest of swell is liable to end in spillage much more so than if one is tucked up in a safe bunkerage. Reference is made to a self-contained marina village, including shops and restaurants, posing a threat to local traders. Surely what we are learning very painfully is that competition creates jobs and protection does not.
That brings me right back to the Felixstowe Docks and Harbour Bill. The purpose of the Bill was to impose the dock labour scheme on Felixstowe, an old-fashioned protection racket. That was the price demanded by the then Government for the support of a prices and incomes policy that collapsed. I suggest that in your Lordships' House we are dealing with something quite different.
I respect the sincerity of my two colleagues who voted against the Bill. I think that it was the most enjoyable committee, in which we heard a great deal 686 of well-presented, professional evidence. I would not change my mind; on reflection, I have had my view reinforced. I therefore urge noble Lords to vote to allow the Bill to go to another place so that, if Members of that place do not like it, they can kill it rather than that Members of this House should stop the creation of a few jobs in a place where they are desperately needed.
§ 9.6 p.m.
§ Baroness Nicol
My Lords, first I make clear that although I speak from the Opposition Front Bench, I speak in a personal capacity, since this is a private Bill, and not on behalf of my noble friends.
The undertakings given to the Select Committee have gone some way to meeting the objections raised in the House on Second Reading. I am glad at this point to acknowledge the efforts of the Select Committee. I have read all seven volumes of the evidence. Although I did not attend the committee, I believe that I have read just about every word that was said, and pretty hard going it was at times. I take my hat off to the efforts of the committee.
Some substantial objections remain. The noble Lord, Lord Greenway, was correct when he said that the lifeboat arrangements were now satisfactory. I think that they are so far as concerns the RNLI. Whatever misgivings we may have about the lifeboat as a children's attraction, the fact that the institution is happy with it should be enough for us. I accept that.
I come to the fishermen. There is still a little to be said here. There seems some doubt about whether the original nine berths have been increased to 12, as the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy, said; or to 11, as the noble Earl said. Whatever the figure may be, we know that a minimum of nine, and possibly 12, berths are available. However, it is limiting because it does not accommodate success among those existing fishermen. If a fisherman wishes to expand in the size of his boat or in the number of his boats he is unable to do so. He will then forfeit his right to the moorings.
Mr. Drinkwater said in evidence that he can talk to Mr. Durrant. Perhaps I may quote from Day 7 of the hearings. At page 83, Mr. Drinkwater said:My Lords, what about Mr. Durrant? I put him forward to your Lordships as a tough man but a fair man and he has indicated he is a fair man, a straight dealing man, by repairing the pier".He goes on to say that Mr. Durrant will be sympathetic to any young man who puts forward to him the need for expansion. Clause 51 of the Bill specifically allows Durrant Developments to sell on the development as soon as it is completed. On past experience this is quite likely to happen. What will then happen to the undertaking that was given on behalf of Mr. Durrant? Will the new owners take it on? It does not say so in the Bill. To those fishermen the assurance has little value.
The committee was invited to rely heavily on the good intentions of Mr. Durrant in this and other matters but in the event of his disappearance there is nothing in the Bill that will help our upwardly mobile young fishermen. I wonder whether when he comes to reply the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy, will clear up that matter for me.
687 I come back briefly to the issue of sewage. Until the noble Earl, Lord Cork and Orrery, decided to speak about it, I wondered whether anyone other than me had misgivings about what will happen to it. The agreement seems to be that provided the sewage is not actually visible, all will be well. The seas will be polluted by finely chopped sewage which will get into the crevices of the breakwater. The beach and the haven itself will be polluted. This seems to be acceptable to those who support the development. I do not find it acceptable and I am surprised that others do, especially as the quantity of sewage to be dealt with will be greatly increased by the housing development as well as by the yacht haven itself.
Even if all the practical problems have been overcome, there remains the fact that the people of Swanage are to lose amenities which they have enjoyed for generations. The noble Lord, Lord Stewart of Fulham, was eloquent on this point, and I support everything that he said. They are to lose them without prior consultation and without compensation. They are to see the character of their town changed and their outlook obstructed, even if it is not all the residents, as the noble Earl. Lord Onslow, pointed out. That is no consolation. It certainly would be no consolation for me to go upstairs and see that view from my bedroom if I could not see it from the ground floor.
The developers make much of the fact that the local people have no rights in law. That point has been repeated in the House tonight. That may be so but there is a standing conferred in this country by usage and tradition which is respected by us all. We in this House should be especially sensitive to this convention. We heard from the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, about respecting conventions as opposed to laws. We cannot have it both ways.
In return for the loss of amenity which the residents are to suffer it is suggested that there will be economic benefits for the town. I have already said that I read all seven volumes of the evidence, and so I did, but I could find very little to uphold the argument in favour of the economic awards. Yes, there certainly will be jobs, but will these outweigh the losses that will inevitably occur as a result of the development?
Many visitors come to Swanage for what it is now. It has a healthy tourist economy. In spite of the remarks that have been made about the bucket and spade brigade, I believe it is still alive and well and flourishing in most of the young families that I know. They still go to Swanage to enjoy that age-old pastime. As the noble Lord, Lord Wynford, said, there is a trend now towards self-catering which explains the downfall of the large hotels. I do not think anyone regrets the passing of the derelict hotel to make way for housing. The residents of Swanage have said on many occasions that they welcome the new housing that has gone up.
In any case the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, has told us that, as regards shopping in the town, the developer is installing his own shops by the yacht haven and he will cream off a good deal of the profits which would normally have gone to the existing shops in the town. But I agree that there will be a 688 spin-off from other things connected with the yacht haven.
I share the concern of the residents as expressed in the poll of 12th November. I know that there has been a quite strong attempt to discredit this poll, but I have been involved in local government and in polls of this kind often enough to know what a stout effort it was to get out so many people on such a day over such a very short period of time.
We are told that since only 36 per cent. of the total electorate voted in the poll perhaps we should not take it too seriously; but the vote was two-to-one against of those taking part, and I believe that few of them would have been hoodwinked by the leaflet that went out. It was a true representation of a particular view, and few of them would have read the entire text. Some governments, and many local authorities, have come to office on lower votes than that.
In the interests of time, I am trying not to repeat what has already been said. There still seems some way to go before a development such as this is acceptable to a majority of the people of Swanage. The noble Lord. Lord Campbell, indicated that more public relations work needed to be done. That may well be so; but perhaps it ought to have been done before this exercise was started. It is rather late in the day to do it now.
Lord Campbell of Croy
My Lords would the noble Baroness say to which Lord Campbell she was referring'?
§ Baroness Nicol
I am sorry. When both Campbells are coming it is a hit hard to distinguish.
The noble Lord, Lord Alport, felt that Swanage had missed the bus. But they have had two buses along already; and I believe that, given the opportunity, a third may yet come. If the arguments in favour of such a development are so overwhelming, I do not think that they will miss another bus. Until the remaining objections are overcome, if the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, chooses to go to a Division, I shall support him.
§ 9.16 p.m.
§ Lord Hesketh
My Lords, it may be helpful if at this point I briefly intervene to state the Government's view on the Bill. The Government have considered the content of the Bill and have no objection in principle to the proposals in the Bill. It is for the promoters to persuade Parliament that the powers they are seeking are necessary and justified.
The Government appreciate that there are strong feelings held about the proposed yacht haven at Swanage on the one hand by the promoters, and on the other by those, petitioners and others, who are opposed to it. The Select Committee, however, considered all the issues very carefully and allowed 689 the Bill to proceed. It is not for us to comment on the provisions of the Bill as amended in committee. We do not wish to take sides. If any organisation, or individual, remains dissatisfied with any aspect of the Bill, it will of course be free to petition against the Bill in another place.
The Select Committee had before it the question of whether or not the Bill should proceed and has reported in favour. In my opinion there would have to be very good reasons for the House to take a different view. I should prefer to take the advice of the Select Committee of your Lordships' House (subject to the amendments it has made and the undertakings given) and accordingly I believe that the Bill should be given a Third Reading.
Lord Campbell of Croy
My Lords, I shall try to reply briefly to the points that have been raised hoping that this will help the House after a very good natured debate. First, the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, mentioned the Felixstowe precedent, which is the only one where a private Bill has been killed in recent years. As others have pointed out, that was in a different category. It engaged the national policies of the political parties as a whole and it was not a local issue.
I am sorry that the noble Lord seemed to be critical of the Select Committee in thinking that it had not fully carried out the instruction. He raised the question of the fishermen, as did the noble Lord, Lord Stewart of Fulham. The fishermen are of course continuing discussions, but the full-time fishermen are satisfied with what has been arranged for them. They would lose all the benefits which do not exist now and which they would gain under the undertakings, and which would not exist if the Bill were to fall.
The noble Lord, Lord Raglan, raised an important point about Clause 41, which removes the status of Swanage as a fishery harbour. The promoters were perfectly prepared to delete that clause. It is the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which has recommended that it remain. I quote from its letter to the parliamentary agents. It says:The loss of fishery harbour status merely means that by-laws or harbour orders would have to be confirmed by the Secretary of State for Transport rather than the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. It would have no effect on the fishermen's activities".I can confirm from my own knowledge that this is dealing with harbour management, but in future the Department of Transport would be doing it. Vessel management would be unaffected. There is no change of substance as regards that matter.
The noble Lord, Lord Foot, referred to the lifeboat. The RNLI have signed the agreement and are completely satisfied with it; and I suggest that the noble Lord deals directly with them.
In a thoughtful speech the noble Lord, Lord Foot, accepted the general advice of the Chairman of Committees. However, he said that this was a different case in that a private entrepreneur was promoting the Bill and the scheme. A private entrepreneur must use that procedure; so it is a criticism of the procedure. I can assure the noble Lord that the promoters sympathise with the 690 situation because—briefly, at this time of night—as the foreshore is involved it is necessary for a promoter to go through the private Bill procedure, even though planning permission has already been granted. It must be a private scheme because the previous schemes depended upon public money, which was not forthcoming. Therefore only a private scheme now has any chance of success.
Much has been said about the town poll, which has been compared with an election. It is not like an election, local or general. I was not complaining about propaganda; it was the supposed facts that were being put forward by the "NO!" campaign which were seriously wrong. To many it presented facts about the yacht marina which were incorrect and alarming. In my opening speech I mentioned only three glaring examples in the interests of brevity but there were also others. In an election there is a choice between candidates—shall we say Smith or Jones. If supposed facts are produced that Smith is Chinese and four foot two inches in height, that can easily be corrected. If it is claimed that Jones has a first class honours degree from Cambridge, that can also be checked and corrected if it is wrong. However, if a completely wrong and alarming picture of the project is produced by one campaign in a poll where the electors are expected to vote simply yes or no, it is not easy to put the matter right in time, as can be done with qualifications or the description of a candidate in an election.
My noble friend Lord Cork rightly raised an exceedingly good separate point. It was the question of sewage from boats. I said that the sewage from the town has been well looked after. First, I understand that most of the boats, if not all, now moored in the bay at present discharge sewage straight into the bay. It is intended to have a pump-out system of facilities for boats in the new yacht haven and to encourage tanks and chemical closets in all of them. With that discipline there will be a great improvement upon the system.
§ The Earl of Cork and Orrery
My Lords, I hope that my noble friend will forgive me for interrupting. He says that they will be encouraged to do that, but what form of encouragement is likely to be effective with people coming in from the sea?
Lord Campbell of Croy
My Lords, this facility is being introduced in various ports around the coast. The promoters of the Bill are intending that the practice rightly raised by the noble Lord, and which is being carried on at the moment, should be stopped. This is a case where the law is also being changed and if the promoters have powers they will certainly use them.
As the Select Committee has reported, there have been other proposals in the past for a yacht haven. They failed largely because they were dependent upon an element of finance from the public purse, which proved not to be forthcoming. This scheme is not dependent upon public finance and the promoters have undertaken to pay for improvements which might not otherwise have been embarked upon for years; for example, the sewage arrangements.
691 The noble Baroness, Lady Nicol, asked me to reply to a particular point as regards the fishermen. I confirmed that 11 berths were mentioned; but that number has now been increased to 12. At the moment there are nine full-time fishermen. I understand that no newcomers are visible but three places are now available. As far as I know, that immediately carries out the proposal of the Select Committee. As regards the fishermen in general, in my opinion they will be as well off, if not better, under the proposed arrangements as they are now. As I think many noble Lords know, I have been active on behalf of sea fishermen for more than 40 years, including my time in another place representing a fishing constituency. I can recognise a good deal for fishermen when I see it and I would not commend a regime which put them at a disadvantage or damaged their interests. I ask the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, to think very hard before he takes action this evening which would put at risk the further consideration of this Bill.
Much has been made of the poll. Was it on this scheme or was it on a horror haven conjured up and described in alarming terms? If the poll is a matter to he taken into account now—it took place only a month ago, after the Select Committee's work—then it ought to be considered properly by a Select Committee in another place. I hope the noble Lord will also heed the advice of the Chairman of Committees the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare.
Whatever the result this evening—and I am sorry that many peers have to be at engagements elsewhere and cannot be with us—I have every expectation myself of being here in 10 years' time and, if I am spared, 20 years' time. I will ensure, with the help of the Whips of the day, that the Swanage situation is raised in 10 years' time, by an Unstarred Question or in some other way. If this scheme has been frustrated and the town and its area have clearly been what the Select Committee term the losers, then I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, will be in his place and will accept his share of the responsibility for what has happened.
§ Lord Raglan
My Lords, I will, if it happens. As the debate has proceeded so noble Lords have answered most other noble Lords' points. There are just one or two to which I think I should refer. The noble Lord. Lord Orr-Ewing, who is not in his place, was in favour of a marina, any marina, every marina. He did not get my point that this is not any marina. Of course marinas can be a good thing, but not here.
The noble Lord, Lord Greenway, made quite a number of accusations about misleading statements and was corrected on one. Yet he made one which is starkly misleading. It shows that one cannot be too careful. He described the part of the bay taken by this marina as being only 2.5 per cent. of Swanage Bay. Of course, Swanage Bay is two miles across. I was very careful to try to describe to your Lordships that the part of the bay that is involved is in fact only a tiny part, and the only bit which is sheltered. So we are not talking about 2.5 per cent. of Swanage Bay. We are talking about half the parking area for boats. As far as I can judge, the marina itself, with its area of 692 jurisdiction, is about 20 acres, and there are about another 20 acres on either side of it. It will go in the middle. So you are talking about its taking half of the usable area of Swanage haven.
§ Lord Greenway
My Lords, will the noble Lord allow me to intervene? In the generally accepted sense the limits of Swanage Bay stretch from just off Peveril Point to the Old Harry Rocks. I can appreciate that that might cause a little concern to the noble Lord. Some people might think that the limit should perhaps be taken from what I think is called Ballard Point. But even so, this would still amount to no more than about 5 per cent. of the bay.
§ Lord Raglan
My Lords, the noble Lord's point was to try to minimise things. He accused me of trying to maximise them. The fact is that it is not a fair percentage. We are talking about roughly half the usable area of the bay. The noble Lord, Lord Greenway, also said that it would enhance the fishing. That is something I did not understand. The noble Earl, Lord Onslow, gave us to understand that there would be a boat-repairing facility there —something that I have never heard before. I should like to say to him that yes, indeed the lifeboat has accepted the position. But it has had to put itself right with the developer as the only sensible thing to do—
§ The Earl of Onslow
My Lords, may I interrupt very briefly and say this to the noble Lord? If the RNLI had in any way objected to any of the proposals given to it, I would bet my last shilling that it would have lodged a petition. It certainly has the money, the expertise and the experience. If the RNLI had not been completely happy, it would have lodged a petition. It was not a question of no choice at all.
§ Lord Raglan
My Lords, the lifeboat would rather stay where it is; but if it is put into the marina it shall accept that it is put into the marina. The noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy, talked about the designation as a fishery harbour and said that the Ministry of Agriculture was against it. I pointed out that the Sea Fish Industry Authority was advising the fishermen against it, so this is another uncertainty. This Bill is surrounded by uncertainty and this is yet another one which has not been resolved.
Many noble Lords tried to cast doubt upon the significance of the poll. That only shows how important, how significant, they think this Bill is. It is a significant matter. That is something that led me to put down this Motion. There are two points of principle which have very much concerned me and many noble Lords who have spoken against this Bill, but which do not seem to have struck noble Lords who have spoken in favour of it in the same way.
The first is the point of the noble Lord, Lord Foot, that the onus of proof is upon the developer to show that the Bill is for the public benefit, or is necessary and justified, as the noble Lord, Lord Hesketh, said. It has not been demonstrated that the Bill has that quality.
693 Much has been alleged today about the decline of Swanage; but not one bit of evidence was produced to the committee or was contained in the report, or has been produced this afternoon to support the view that the town is in decline. The committee received three expressions of opinion from people who were strongly in favour of the scheme that they thought the marina would benefit the town. But they produced no figures, and no research has been undertaken in the matter.
Yet I am told that there are only three commercial premises unlet out of 192; that in the season the place is choked with cars; that the caravan parks surrounding the town are expanding; and, as the noble Earl, Lord Cork, said, the beach has the rare accolade of an EC blue riband. No evidence has been produced that the marina will much benefit the town or that the town requires the benefit that a marina might bring.
Secondly, there is the principle which exercised my noble friend Lord Stewart; that of enclosing what is now a noted public amenity for a private benefit. I specifically underlined this matter in my speech and addressed myself to the noble Lord, Lord Alport, but he did not respond and I believe that he had not considered the point. It just shows how differently two people can view things. It is a matter of very deep concern and I cannot better express the essence of the matter than by quoting a boatman who gave evidence to the committee. Speaking of the part of the bay which would be taken by the yachting, he said:It is the most precious and used part of Swanage. Everyone uses that part and that is going to be taken away".Some places have to be protected. Some developments have to be refused. There is no doubt whatever in my mind that this is one of them. I ask your Lordships to join me in voting for my amendment.
§ The Deputy Speaker (Lord Renton)
My Lords, the original Question was, That this Bill be now read a third time; since when an amendment has been moved to leave out ("now") and at end to insert ("this day six months"). The Question is, That this amendment be agreed to.
§ 9.35 p.m.
§ On Question, Whether the said amendment shall be agreed to?
§ Their Lordships divided: Contents, 55; Not-Contents, 45.694
|DIVISION NO. 1|
|Ailesbury, M.||Milford, L.|
|Blease, L.||Monson, L.|
|Brooks of Tremorfa, L.||Morton of Shuna, L.|
|Buckmaster, V.||Nicol, B.|
|Caldecote, V.||Oram, L.|
|Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.||Parry, L.|
|Cork and Orrery, E. [Teller.]||Peston, L.|
|David, B.||Phillips, B.|
|Dormand of Easington, L.||Pitt of Hampstead, L.|
|Elwyn-Jones, L.||Prys-Davies, L.|
|Ewart-Biggs, B.||Raglan, L. [Teller.]|
|Faithfull, B.||Russell, E.|
|Foot, L.||Seear, B.|
|Galpern, L.||Shannon, E.|
|Gladwyn, L.||Simon, V.|
|Graham of Edmonton, L.||Stedman, B.|
|Hampton, L.||Stewart of Fulham, L.|
|Hatch of Lusby, L.||Stoddart of Swindon, L.|
|Jay, L.||Taylor of Blackburn, L.|
|Jeger, B.||Tordoff, L.|
|John-Mackie, L.||Underhill. L.|
|Kennet, L.||Wallace of Coslany, L.|
|Kilmarnock, L.||Walston, L.|
|Lockwood, B.||White, B.|
|McIntosh of Haringey, L.||Winchilsea and Nottingham E.|
|Mackie of Benshie, L.|
|McNair, L.||Wynford, L.|
|Mayhew, L.||Ypres, E.|
|Allenby of Megiddo, V.||Forte, L.|
|Alport, L.||Gray of Contin, L.|
|Ampthill, L.||Greenhill of Harrow. L.|
|Arran. E.||Greenway, L. [Teller.]|
|Beaverbrook, L.||Hesketh, L.|
|Belstead, L.||Howie of Troon, L.|
|Boardman, L.||Kimball, L.|
|Brabazon of Tara. L.||Lindsay, E.|
|Brain. L.||Lucas of Chilworth, L.|
|Brougham and Vaux. L.||Montgomery of Alamein, V.|
|Butterworth, L.||Mountevans, L.|
|Campbell of Alloway, L.||Munster, E.|
|Campbell of Croy, L.||Murton of Lindisfarne, L.|
|Carnegy of Lour, B.||Onslow, E. [Teller.]|
|Craigavon, V.||Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.|
|Craigmyle, L.||Selborne, E.|
|Crickhowell, L.||Selkirk, E.|
|Cullen of Ashbourne, L.||Sharples, B.|
|Davidson, V.||Stodart of Leaston, L.|
|Denham, L.||Terrington, L.|
|Dundee, E.||Thorneycroft, L.|
|Elliott of Morpeth, L.||Trefgarne, L.|
§ Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.