asked the Minister of Civil Aviation if he is aware that hard ship is caused to those resident owners of property within the area affected by the proposed extension of London Airport, due to the fact they cannot sell their property if compelled to leave the district; and what steps he is taking to alleviate this hardship.
I realise and regret the inconvenience caused to householders by the inevitable uncertainty as to the future, but according to my information there is a good demand for houses in this area as elsewhere. As to any questions of personal hardship, the hon. Member will appreciate that I am bound by existing legislation of general application.
asked the Minister of Civil Aviation whether, in view of the prolonged anxiety caused to residents and property-owners within the area affected by the proposed extension of London Air port because of the uncertainty of the compensation provisions, he will appoint a committee of inquiry to consider the problems of compensation involved and make recommendations.
In view of the obvious injustice that is being done to residents and businessmen in this district owing to the depreciation of the value of their houses and businesses, does the Minister not think it right to ask for an inquiry so that there may be some satisfaction on both sides? The Ministry would know that they were doing the right thing by these people and, on the other hand, residents and businessmen might feel that they were getting fair compensation.
Many people are disturbed and inconvenienced by essential national developments, and I am very sorry for those affected. In this case we have already stated that in assessing the value of compensation in this area no account will be taken of depreciation in value due to the proximity of the airport. In addition, that Section of the Town and Country Planning Act which, as the hon. Gentleman, may know, applied a notional lease to the value of the compulsorily acquired house, will no longer be operated by the time, if at all, we have to take over the houses.
As the Minister is not guaranteeing that the Act will not be extended, how can he say there is no uncertainty in the area? Will he look into this matter again, because he is grossly misinformed if he thinks that there is no uncertainty as to the compensation these people will get?
I shall be very glad to discuss the matter with the hon. Gentleman, but for a long time the possible development of London Airport has been known in the neighbourhood. I do not think that any further legislative powers will be necessary. Under existing powers I have the right to do certain things and the obligation to do others, and these I shall try scrupulously to discharge.
asked the Minister of Civil Aviation whether, in view of the fact that, if the proposed extension to London Airport is carried out, the area of demolition involved will be greater and the problems of compensation different in size and character from anything the present legislation is intended to cover, he will set up a special committee of inquiry now to consider those problems and make recommendations as to special legislation required to meet possible hardship.