New Clause B. — (Obligation of the Minister to state reasons for deciding that a building is unfit for human habitation.)

Orders of the Day — Housing Bill. – in the House of Commons on 26th July 1935.

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"(1) Where a person upon whom notice of a clearance order or of a compulsory purchase order made under Part I of the Act of 1930 or under Part I of this Act is required to be served has duly made objection thereto on the ground that a building included therein is not unfit for human habitation, and the objection has not been withdrawn, the Minister shall not cause the public local inquiry with respect thereto to be held earlier than the expiration of fourteen days after it has been shown to his satisfaction that the local authority have served upon the objector a notice in writing stating what facts they allege as their principal grounds for being satisfied that the building is so unfit.

(2) Any person who objects to a clearance order on the ground that a building included therein, being a building in which he is interested, is not unfit for human habitation, or who objects on the like ground to a compulsory purchase order made under Part I of the Act of 1930, or under Part I of this Act, and who appears at the public local inquiry in support of his objection, shall, if the building is included in the order as confirmed as being unfit for human habitation, be entitled on making a request in writing to be furnished by the Minister with a statement in writing of his reasons for deciding that the building is so unfit."

12.27 p.m.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare , Norwich

I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

Sub-section (1) of this Clause provides that the Minister has not to hold a public inquiry in respect of a clearance or compulsory purchase order until at least fourteen days after it has been shown to his satisfaction that the objector has received notice from the local authority stating the principal grounds for being satisfied that the building is unfit. It is necessary that he should know what defects would be alleged to exist in his property at the proceedings. Sub-section (2) gives to any owner whose property is to be compulsorily demolished or is to be compulsorily purchased at site value the right to know the reason for the condemnation of his property. Both these concessions seem to be eminently reasonable.

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

Will the authority concerned be able to satisfy themselves that the person knows the ground upon which the proceedings are to be taken.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare , Norwich

The objector, first of all, notifies the Minister and a copy is sent to the clerk, and then the clerk will presumably post a registered letter to notify the objector of the grounds upon which the proceedings are to be taken.

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

That I take it would be sufficient to enable them to say that they knew that the objector had such knowledge.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare , Norwich

We must be satisfied that reasonable steps are taken.

Photo of Mr Maurice Petherick Mr Maurice Petherick , Penryn and Falmouth

May I thank my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for implementing the undertaking he gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Nuneaton (Mr. North), who moved an Amendment similar to this on the Report stage which I supported.

Subsequent Lords Amendments to page 53, line 9, agreed to.