§ Mr. Meacher
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, on the principle that shopkeepers receive compensation for loss of business in the event of a compulsory purchase order, he will extend due compensation to coal merchants who 464W lose custom when an area is declared a smokeless zone under one of the Clean Air Acts.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
No. Smoke control orders impose the statutory requirement not to emit smoke. Owners and occupiers are free to choose by what means they will comply. Any trade loss which a local fuel merchant suffers is the result of private decisions to convert to fuels other than solid smokeless coal and is not directly attributable to the statutory requirement.
There can be no analogy with compensation paid for the compulsory purchase of business premises because no interest in land is being acquired. Compensation is not generally paid where a restriction is primarily for reasons of public health or safety.