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Orders of the Day — Land Compensation Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th November 1972.

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Photo of Mr Graham Page Mr Graham Page , Crosby 12:00 am, 27th November 1972

The tenant can get a reduction of rent on the fair rent basis for injurious affection. That is the compensation which he would receive if a motorway injuriously affected his home. The private tenant would see at once that his landlord was getting compensation and he would be entitled to claim a reduction in rent because it would be proved that his tenancy was of less value because his landlord received that compensation. Any tenant not having three years to run would seek to get a reduction in his fair rent. If he has three years to run, he comes in as an owner.

I have innumerable points to try to answer and if I am piecemeal for the next five minutes in answering them as they are on my notes, the House must forgive me. The hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Whitlock) asked about district valuation. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State established earlier this year a committee which is investigating the rôle of the district valuer and the local authority valuer in relation to land transactions of local authorities. I look forward to receiving its report in the near future.

I turn to the question of noise and entitlement to sound insulation. There is at present no entitlement to, or discretion to pay for, sound insulation. Therefore, the right in the Bill is new. The entitlement in respect of new or improved roads open to traffic on or after 17th October 1972 is to cover 100 per cent. insulation. There is a discretion in respect of new or improved roads open to traffic between 17th October 1969 and 16th October 1972. Therefore, in that discretionary power we would include—for the hon. Member for Birmingham, Aston (Mr. Julius Silverman)—Spaghetti Junction. There is no provision in the Bill for what I am saying, because it will be included in regulations made under it.

It is open to argument whether the discretion should be made an entitlement, so that occupants of houses who suffer noise as a result of examples like Spaghetti Junction, which has been completed, should have an absolute entitlement. In the Bill there is only discretion for the local authority to pay. I should have thought that that was sufficient, and that any local authority would ensure that its citizens were protected when the road was built. However, let us talk about that matter in Committee.