HC Deb 29 April 1959 vol 604 cc127-8W
75 and 77. Sir P. Agnew

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation (1) in how many cases where land in Worcestershire has been taken by his Department for the construction of the Ross Spur motorway the owners are still awaiting payment;

(2) whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction that is caused by continued delays in the payment of compensation for land compulsorily acquired for trunk roads and motorways; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Watkinson

I am well aware of the dissatisfaction to which my hon. Friend refers and in view of the growing extent of the problem we have now decided that special arrangements are required.

Accordingly, in future any person having an interest in land which is acquired by my Department for highway purposes will be able to obtain an advance, subject to my discretion, of up to 90 per cent. of the compensation payable as soon as possession of the land has been taken. Any person who seeks such an advance should apply to the district valuer, stating the amount claimed and describing the interest in respect of which the claim is made. If agreement has not been reached on the full amount of the compensation, advances may be made up to 90 per cent. of the district valuer's estimate.

This arrangement is intended to be a temporary one. It is contemplated that in due course proposals will be put forward to make it possible to complete the acquisition of land by a more expeditious procedure than at present.

In Worcestershire, payment has still to be made in 31 cases. They will be covered by the arrangements I have just described.