§ Mr. BOYTON
asked the President of the Local Government Board when the general provisions relating to town-planning schemes, etc., referred to in Sections 55 and 64 of the Housing and Town Planning, etc., Act of 1909, will be laid before Parliament; and whether he will state the number of local authorities (naming them) which have informed the Board of their desire to prepare town-planning schemes?
§ Mr. BURNS
The question of prescribing general provisions under Section 55 of the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1909, is receiving my consideration, but I do not contemplate the immediate prescription of such provisions. When issued they will be laid before Parliament, as required by Section 64 of the Act. Six local authorities have been in communication with the Board with a view to the preparation of town-planning schemes. I do not think it is desirable at this stage to make the names of these local authorities public.
Mr. BOYTON also
asked the President whether he will state the names and qualifications of the officials already appointed by the Board to whom appeals will be referred under Sections 15, 17, 18, and 19 of the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1909 (relating to contracts by landlords, closing orders and demolition orders, and the redemption of annuities); and whether he will state the officials appointed for carrying out the duties referred to in Section 26 of the Act (which relates to in- 2066W quiries by Local Government Board inspectors as to unhealthy areas).
§ Mr. BURNS
For the purpose of inquiries in relation to appeals under the Sections of the Act referred to, as well as for other inquiries under the Housing Acts, the services of the staff of inspectors attached to the Department will be available. I have increased this staff by the appointment of three inspectors, selected by me from a long list of candidates as specially qualified for this purpose, namely, Messrs. Clifton, Collin, and Leonard. Each of these gentlemen had had ample experience in connection with building construction. For the purpose of inquiries under Section 16 of the Housing Act, 1890, it will be observed that. Section 26 of the Act of last Session expressly makes the services of the existing staff available. I have, however, made an addition to the staff of medical inspectors by the appointment of Dr. Carnwath, who was formerly assistant medical officer of health to the Manchester Corporation, and who has had special experience in the administration of the Housing Acts.
The same HON. MEMBER
further asked when the Board will publish the regulations for regulating the procedure to be adopted with respect to applications to the Board for authority to prepare or adopt a town planning scheme as provided by Section 56 of the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1909;whether, having regard to the fact that such regulations have not yet been issued, an application for such authority as aforesaid, made before the publication of such regulations, will be deemed by the Board to be in accordance with the provisions of the Act, and will operate as such; and whether, pending the publication of such regulations, a local authority, to whom plans have been submitted by an owner of land which is about to be developed for building purposes, may decline to approve or may delay their decision as to their approval of such plans, in a case where the plans are in accordance with existing by-laws in force in that district?
§ Mr. BURNS
The regulations under Section 56 of the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1909, are in an advanced state of preparation, and I hope to issue them at an early date. The regulations will include provisions which must be complied with before an application is made to the 2067W Board for authority to prepare or adopt a town-planning scheme, and applications made to the Board before the issue of the regulations could not be entertained. The answer to the third part of the question is in the negative, but if the local authority contemplate the making of a town-planning scheme in regard to land for the development of which plans as to new streets and buildings are submitted to them for approval, they would probably think it desirable to draw attention to the provisions of Section 58 (2) of the Act, which enacts that "a person shall not be entitled to obtain compensation under this section on account of any building erected on, or contract made, or other thing done with respect to, land included in the scheme, after the time at which the application for authority to prepare the scheme was made, or after such other time as the Local Government Board may fix for the purpose."
Mr. BOYTON next
asked whether the Board has, with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor, made rules fixing the scale of costs to be applicable to arbitrations under the First Schedule (Clause 9), to the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1909; if such scale has not been made, when, if at all, will it be published; and whether under Clause (10) of the First Schedule, the remuneration of the arbitrator will be fixed by the Board in each particular case, or will be fixed by a scale applicable to all appointments of arbitrators, under that Schedule, made by the Board?
§ Mr. BURNS
Rules fixing the scale of costs to be applicable to arbitrations under the First Schedule (Clause 9) to the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1909, have not been made. If such a scale is found by experience to be desirable it will be published as soon as it is made. The remuneration of the arbitrator under Clause 10 of the First Schedule will be fixed by the Board in each particular case.
Mr. BOYTON likewise
asked whether all appeals relating to questions arising in London and the provinces under Sections 15, 17, 18, and 19 of the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1909, will be dealt with by officials in London, or whether officials will be allocated to and will reside in or near the various districts or counties for the purpose of dealing with matters arising within their respective districts; and whether, either before or after the passing of the Act, any, and, if so, what, 2068W estimate was prepared of the probable increased expenditure payable out of local rates which will be incurred by local authorities in consequence of the administration by them of the Act in the Administrative County of London, elsewhere in England and Wales, and in Scotland, respectively?
§ Mr. BURNS
Inquiries in regard to any matters arising under the Housing Acts will be held locally by such members of the staff of inspectors as may from time to time be found convenient, having regard to the general arrangements which are made for the purpose of local inquiries under the Public Health Acts and other Acts. As regards the latter part of the question, no estimate, so far as I am aware, has been or could be prepared of the additional expenditure, if any, which will be incurred by local authorities under the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act. This will obviously depend on the amount of activity displayed by the various local authorities under the Act. Many of the provisions of the Act, however, will, in my opinion, tend to obviate expenditure which would otherwise have been necessary.