§ Mr. Heddle
asked the Secretary of State for Energy why compensation for coal mining damage, including consequential losses and depreciation in the value of property, is not made available to all claimants.
§ Mr. John Moore
The Government recognise that coal mining subsidence can creat problems beyond those of physical damage to buildings and so on which the NCB, under the Coal Mining (Subsidence) Act 1957, is under'an obligation to repair; but believe that the right approach to them is the sympathetic and flexible operation of the board's code of practice on mining subsidence damage. The Government are considering a recommendation from the Commission on Energy and the Environment that claimants should be entitled to compensation for residual loss of value caused by subsidence damage. In general, however, they do not believe that it would be appropriate to place the NCB, in fulfilling its statutory duty to win coal, in the same legal position as the perpetrators of a public nuisance or a tort.