HC Deb 24 July 1973 vol 860 cc451-3W
Mr. Atkinson

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the various stages of the compulsory purchase order procedure and the minimum time allowed for each stage; and if he will explain at what point in the procedure he hopes to reduce the overall time it takes to conclude the process from the original local authority decision to the start of actual site clearance.

Mr. Channon

In the case of compulsory purchase orders made under Part III of the Housing Act 1957, the main procedural stages are as follows:

  1. (i) the council declares the clearance area, makes the order, serves notices and submits the order for confirmation;
  2. (ii) the Secretary of State checks that the statutory procedures have been followed, receives and considers any objections and orders a public local inquiry where necessary;
  3. (iii) the council serves notices of its principal grounds for representing certain order properties as unfit for human habitation, and its reasons for making the order;
  4. (iv) the Secretary of State holds the inquiry; considers the inspector's report; issues his decision;
  5. (v) the council publishes notice of confirmation; acquires the order properties; rehouses the occupants as necessary, arranges clearance.

There are statutory minimum periods of 14 days, following the service of notices, for the receipt of objections; 14 days prior to the inquiry for the service of "principal grounds" notices; and six weeks following the publication of notice of confirmation before the order becomes operative.

The procedure and minimum times for other kinds of compulsory purchase orders differ in detail from the above.

My right hon. and learned Friend is concerned to reduce the time taken to process orders at all stages and in particular to shorten the waiting period for inquiries by the recruitment of additional inspectors.

Mr. Tope

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give greater discretionary powers to local authorities in the confirmation of compulsory purchase orders appertaining to general improvement areas.

Mr. Channon


London Dockland (Development) Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) in view of the fact that the Greater London Council, the London borough of Newham and most of the elected public authorities within the area have declared their opposition to the London Docks Study Report, whether he will now initiate direct discussions with these authorities with a view to granting them the necessary permission and statutory assistance to carry out development of the dock area within their borough borders, according to their council's wishes;

(2) whether, as the London borough of Newham has declared itself against the London Docks Study, he will now permit the London borough of Newham to develop the London dock area within the borough boundary according to the borough's wishes, with particular reference to the Beckton area for industrial and housing usage.

Mr. Channon

No. My right hon. and learned Friend will be discussing with the GLC and the London boroughs concerned how best to redevelop the docklands and the ideas put forward by the consultants for discussion will be relevant. But it would be premature to go ahead in parts of boroughs on a piecemeal basis, although there may be some sites which may be suitable for separate development for housing.