§ Mr. Evelyn King
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek powers to ensure that when a man's house is accidentally burnt down he may, if he wishes, restore it without asking the consent of the planning authorities; and how many cases have been reported to him over the last three years in which county planning authorities have in such circumstances refused consent to re-build.
§ Mr. Graham Page
Records are not kept which would provide a reliable figure in answer to the second half of the question. The fact that only a very small number of appeals against refusal of planning permission or even of reports 181W of difficulty in such cases have been made to the Department would appear to suggest that this is a matter in which local planning authorities exercise the existing powers with full regard to the circumstances of each case. If my hon. Friend has evidence to the contrary I will be glad to examine it.