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My Lords, this is the final group of government amendments on compulsory purchase matters, dealing with the power to override easements and other rights. This power, which is currently available to local planning authorities and regeneration agencies such as the Homes and Communities Agency and urban development corporations, is extended, by means of Clause 179, to land acquired by “specified authorities”, being those which have compulsory purchase powers. I believe that none of the amendments is controversial, so I hope to deal with them in short order, if the House agrees.
Amendments 128YCL, 128YCN, 128YCP and 128YCR ensure that the powers in Clause 179 are only available where the development by a specified authority, or a successor in title, is related to the purpose for which the land was vested in, acquired or appropriated by the specified authority. These amendments codify the judgment in Midtown Ltd v City of London Real Property Company Ltd. The Honourable Mr Justice Peter Smith held, at paragraph 47 of his judgment, that if a local authority or a successor in title wishes to rely upon the power to override in Section 237 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the proposed development must be related to the planning purposes for which the land was acquired or appropriated.
Amendments 128YCM, 128YCQ, 128YCS and 128YCU to 128YCY clarify the transitional provisions that apply to those authorities which already have the power to override easements to ensure that they operate effectively. Amendment 128YCX clarifies the terminology for the determination of compensation disputes.
Government Amendment 128YCT—the so-called National Trust amendment—extends the protection in place for statutory undertakers from having their rights overridden to the National Trust. This amendment responds to Amendment 103C tabled in Committee by the noble Baronesses, Lady Andrews and Lady Parminter, who spoke to the amendment on that occasion. I understand that officials at the National Trust are content with this amendment, and I hope that the noble Baronesses are too.
Finally, Amendment 128YD inserts into the definition of “specified authority” a body established by an Act or Measure of the National Assembly for Wales. This is a piece of future-proofing in case an Act or Measure of the Assembly should create a new body with compulsory acquisition powers.
I conclude by thanking your Lordships’ House for its patience in hearing about 90 technical, and in places arcane, amendments about compulsory purchase. I beg to move.
Amendment 128YCL agreed.