HC Deb 24 June 1947 vol 439 cc34-5W
84. Mr. Awbery

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning if he is aware of the dissatisfaction caused among the members of the Bristol City Planning Committee as a result of the severity of his pruning of their schemes submitted to him; and if he will reconsider his decision and give a clear definition of the planning policy he proposes to pursue, as far as the city of Bristol is concerned, in order that the planning committee may continue its work.

Mr. Silkin

It is the case that I reduced the area which the City Council included in their Declaratory Order under Section of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1944, from 770 acres to 247 acres. I did so because an Order under that Section has to be related to war damage and I did not consider that I could properly affirm that the larger area was so related. But the effect of the Order is merely to make the land subject to compulsory purchase. It does not restrict the area for which the Council can prepare a plan; and the Town and Country Planning Bill will enable them to acquire any land in the city which they require for the purposes of the plan. Meanwhile the Council can, if they think fit, submit Compulsory Purchase Orders for all or any of the 247 acres which I have included in the Declaratory Order, and that is as much as they can possibly need in order to make an effective start.

I did also reduce from 25 to five acres the area included by the Council in a Compulsory Purchase Order submitted under Section 2 (2) of the 1944 Act, since under that Section the acquisition has also to be related to war damage, and, further, I have to be satisfied that the land must be bought at once. As much of the area consisted of standing property which there was no immediate intention to demolish, I could not be so satisfied. Again, however, the Council have what they need to make an effective start. My policy is that every local authority should prepare a plan for its area and should set to work on the urgent work of reconstruction immediately, up to the limit which the available labour and materials allow; and I have given the City of Bristol every encouragement to do this.