§ Mr. L. Smith
asked the Minister of Health whether any estimate can be given of the total rent of property included in clearance orders since the past two years; what amount of compensation has been paid in respect of such property; and what is the total rent of the alternative accommodation provided?
§ Sir K. Wood
I regret that it is not practicable to make any estimate of the amounts to which my hon. Friend refers.
§ Sir A. Wilson
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the immediately impending compulsory demolition, consequent upon a slum clearance order, of six ancient cottages at Therfield, near Royston, which the present owner is prepared to recondition and make in every respect habitable; and whether he will consider the introduction of legislation which will enable him to review such cases retrospectively, as is possible in a county court in the case of demolition orders, and meanwhile advise the rural district council not to press the owner to destroy cottages which are of great beauty and whose retention is desired by the parish?
§ Sir K. Wood
My attention has been drawn to this matter. A clearance order does not become operative until it has been reviewed and confirmed by me. There is, however, no power to review such orders or demolition orders after they have become operative and the Housing Advisory Committee who recently considered this question did not recommend any change in the law. In these circumstances I do not feel justified in introducing legislation for this purpose and I am afraid that I could not properly communicate with the local authority as suggested in the last part of the question.
§ Mr. Crowder
asked the Minister of Health how many houses condemned in connection with slum clearance schemes have been demolished by local authorities instead of by the owners; and in how many of these cases have the costs of such demolition been collected from the owners?1295W