HL Deb 13 December 1988 vol 502 cc827-8

3.8 p.m.

Lord Hesketh rose to move, That Private Business Standing Order No. 216 (Hybrid Instruments) be dispensed with in relation to any further proceedings on the order.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the House might find it helpful if I were briefly to sketch in the background to the Motion. As the House knows, the original order designating the urban development area and setting up the Bristol Development Corporation was laid last May. It was declared hybrid and petitioned against by Bristol City Council. The petition was referred to a Select Committee of this House under the chairmanship of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Brightman. The Select Committee began its inquiry on 11th October and sat for nine days, considering its report on a further two days.

The committee reported on 7th December and recommended that the principle of an urban development area and an urban development corporation should be accepted for Bristol. The committee also recommended that four sites originally proposed for designation should be excluded from the development area. They are the land on each side of the Avon between Birchwood Lodge and Conham Ferry; the area of Totterdown between Wells Road and Bath Road; the land bordered by the Floating Harbour, Victoria Street and Temple Way; and the land to the north of Unity Street and Waterloo Road.

The committee was advised that the Secretary of State, in accepting the recommendations, could lay an amended order incorporating the changes proposed. Alternatively, the House could affirm the original order provided that the Secretary of State gave an undertaking to lay an amending order as soon as possible, which would exclude the four areas previously mentioned.

Today is not the time to debate the Select Committee's report, but I should however say now that the Government accept the committee's recommendations in full and we aim to put them into effect as quickly as possible. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment therefore laid an order on 12th December, the effect of which, if approved by the House, will be to amend the original order so as to remove the four sites previously mentioned from the proposed urban development area in line with the Select Committee's recommendation.

The amending order has been declared hybrid by the Chairman of Committees. In the normal course of events a 14-day period for petitioning and the other procedures relating to hybrid instruments would now ensue, but in view of the fact that the intention of the amending order is to carry out the recommendations of the Select Committee, made after an exhaustive inquiry into the matter, we are submittting that it would be inappropriate for Standing Order No. 216 to apply to this order. The committee itself drew attention to the probability that any petitions laid against the amending order would be unlikely to be referred to a Select Committee on the grounds that a sufficient inquiry had already been held. If the House agrees, the effect of suspending Standing Order No. 216 in this case will be to allow the amending order to be debated as soon as it has been before the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. The Government's intention is to arrange for the original designation order and the amending order to be debated together at the earliest opportunity. I beg to move.

Moved, That Private Business Standing Order No. 216 (Hybrid Instruments) be dispensed with in relation to any further proceedings on the order.—(Lord Hesketh.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.