Clause 1. — (Designation of areas of extensive war damage, and of land needed for providing for replacements in redevelopment thereof.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Town and Country Planning Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd October 1944.

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Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale 12:00 am, 3rd October 1944

The fact is that the idea in the minds of hon. Members opposite is to try, if they possibly can, to tide over the present emergency by limiting as far as possible the powers of public authorities to acquire privately owned land. We do not conceal it from ourselves that we wanted to use the crisis in housing in order to enlarge the powers of the public authorities to acquire land. So there is between us a very important point of principle, arising out of the fact that my hon. Friends opposite think it is always a bad thing for public authorities to acquire land—[HON. MEMBERS: "No!"]—and that they should only be allowed to acquire. that land in circumstances of the utmost emergency. My hon. Friend opposite has said that there is nothing at all in the Bill which prevents local authorities, under Clause 9, from planning, but the point at issue is, that if the acquisition of land is not limited any longer—and it would not be limited if the amendment were carried—the approach of local authorities towards planning the amenities of their areas would be revolutionised, because they would then be allowed to regard the amenities and requirements of the land as over-riding the claims of any private property owners within the area. Indeed, under Clause 9, they could acquire the land.