HC Deb 11 November 1996 vol 285 cc61-2W
Sir John Stanley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his recent letter to the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Mailling, which are the clauses in the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill that disapply the provisions of the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965, regarding the serving of blight notices in relation to properties over tunnels. [2909]

Mr. Watts

[holding answer 7 November 1996]: The relevant provisions are set out in paragraph 6(4) of schedule 4 to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill, which provides that section 8(1) of the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965 is not to apply where the compulsory purchase powers in clause 4(1) of the Bill are exercised only in relation to the subsoil or under-surface of the land.

Section 8(1) of the 1965 Act provides that no one is obliged to sell part of a property if he is willing and able to sell the whole of it, unless the lands tribunal is satisfied that part of the property can be taken without material detriment or without affecting the amenity of the property.

If, after the Bill passes into law, an owner of a property over a tunnel serves a blight notice, the Secretary of State may serve a counter notice claiming that he proposes to acquire part only of the property—the subsoil—and the owner could then refer the matter to the lands tribunal. Although in non-CTRL blight cases, the lands tribunal would have to consider material detriment under section 166(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, that section is disapplied because of the reference to section 166(1) (b) of that Act and section 8(1) of the 1965 Act.