asked the Minister of Health if it is his practice to grant a building licence to an applicant willing to build a house for his own occupation by his own labour provided that it is recommended by the local housing authority and the plans approved.
I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the circular issued to local authorities setting out the present arrangements for granting licences for private house building. No general exception is made in favour of the class of applicant mentioned.
I did make some concessions a little while ago which were widely abused. Of course, at the moment, the limitation upon house building is softwood timber. Even if the house were built by the person himself, it would still require the same amount of timber.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are some very genuine cases where the applicant is prepared to make any concession in the matter of materials necessary to satisfy the requirements, and if I bring to his attention a case of a constituent of mine who has had great difficulty in an area where the local authority has been granting licences for the building of garages, will he give it sympathetic consideration?
I certainly will investigate the merits of a particular case. This is not only a labour question. There is the consideration of the softwood timber contained in the house. Unless a person has supplies of softwood timber, which he ought not to have, he would not be able to build a house.