Amendment 258

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill - Committee (10th Day) – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 20 April 2023.

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Photo of Lord Berkeley Lord Berkeley Labour 7:15, 20 April 2023

I am grateful to the Minister for giving us a very interesting history lesson, which I certainly knew about but maybe other noble Lords did not. As he said, this goes back to 1300 or thereabouts, when the Duchy started. Yes, it would cause trouble to make changes; however, there has to be a debate about the Duchy land. Is it in the private ownership of the Duke of Cornwall, or it is in what you might call state ownership, alongside the Crown Estates and the Duchy of Lancaster?

When the Law Commission report came out a couple of years ago, I wrote to the Duchy of Cornwall, the Duchy of Lancaster and the Crown Estates to ask whether they were going to implement the recommendations, in particular for their own land. I got really good answers from the Crown Estates and the Duchy of Lancaster. They said they would follow the recommendations, but in a slightly different way. The Duchy of Cornwall could not make up its mind. It is seen to be trying to be different, and I do not quite know why, because I love it dearly. It is something that probably ought to be looked at, but I will not go any further on that this evening.

There is a democratic deficit, and if the Minister is saying we are going to go ahead and try to complete the process, which I certainly welcome, how is the democratic input from the Duchy of Cornwall’s residents and others, such as stakeholders, going to be put in?

We have had a very interesting debate and I thank the Minister for his helpful answers, and on that basis, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 258 withdrawn.

Amendment 258ZA not moved.