HC Deb 02 November 1959 vol 612 cc9-10W
32. Mr. F. Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations have been made to him regarding delays in the acquisition, by lease or purchase of freehold, of land by the Forestry Commission, and regarding restrictions on the purchase of immature crops of standing trees; what action he will take; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Hare

The Forestry Commission has received complaints from prospective vendors of land, and also one from the Chartered Auctioneers' and Estate Agents' Institute, about delay in negotiations for the acquisition of land by the Commission. The Commission has recently increased its legal and clerical staff on this work and has improved its office procedures in order to speed up negotiations. But in addition I must point out that a significant cause of delay would be removed if vendors' solicitors themselves gave more prompt attention to these transactions.

I am aware of only one would-be vendor who complained some time ago about the Commission's unwillingness to buy immature plantations. In this case the area was unsuitable for a number of reasons for acquisition by the Commission and the offer was therefore declined.