Development Charge (Village Halls)

Oral Answers to Questions — Town and Country Planning – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th March 1949.

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Photo of Mr Morgan Price Mr Morgan Price , Forest of Dean 12:00 am, 8th March 1949

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether village halls and institutes run on a non-profit basis for entertainment and education will be liable to development charge if they wish to enlarge their buildings.

Photo of Mr Lewis Silkin Mr Lewis Silkin , Camberwell Peckham

Development charge is payable in respect of any enlargement in excess of 10 per cent. of the cubic content of buildings used as village halls and institutes. The amount of the charge will depend on the location of the premises and in some cases may be nil.

Photo of Mr Morgan Price Mr Morgan Price , Forest of Dean

Has not the matter of village halls and public or semi-public institutions and whether or not they should be liable to this charge been the subject of inquiry?

Photo of Mr Lewis Silkin Mr Lewis Silkin , Camberwell Peckham

Yes, Sir. The result of that inquiry is incorporated in the answer to the Question.

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Bristol West

Was it ever the intention of this House in passing this Act that handicaps should be put in the way of most desirable extensions of building activities of this kind, and what chance would there be of speculative gain resulting from these extensions?

Photo of Mr Lewis Silkin Mr Lewis Silkin , Camberwell Peckham

The House had the opportunity, in considering exemptions and other regulations, of dealing with this point and did not do so. I do not agree that this is necessarily deterring desirable extensions.

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Bristol West

How does the right hon. Gentleman think that having to pay a development charge, which may amount to a considerable sum in addition to the cost of the actual building, can fail to make it more difficult for these people to develop, as the whole House would like to see them develop?

Photo of Mr Lewis Silkin Mr Lewis Silkin , Camberwell Peckham

Certainly, the right hon. Gentleman has misconceived the situation. This Question does not arise on the building of village halls, but on extensions, and, in the consideration of this matter, it is quite impossible to distinguish this from other types of buildings.

Photo of Major Sir Basil Neven-Spence Major Sir Basil Neven-Spence , Orkney and Shetland

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the case of every single village hall in Shetland the site was presented "free, gratis and for nothings" by the proprietors, and why cannot the Government be equally generous?