Thank you, Mr. Pike. I may well come back to the Minister once he has clarified those points.Matthew Green: I welcome the clarification on the date, which there was good reason to seek as the hon. Member for Cotswold said. However, my reading of the provisions leaves one unresolved issue on which I am sure the Minister will quickly put my mind at rest.
New section 5A(5) says:
''If the acquiring authority enters on and takes possession of part of the land . . . the authority is deemed, for the purposes of subsection (3)(a), to have entered on and taken possession of the whole of that land on that date.''
I am having a bad attack of the whatiferies, rather as the Minister did earlier, which I stayed well out of. I
can foresee a situation where a local authority decides to take part of a landowner's land, but then six months down the line decides that it is going to extend the scheme that it is bringing forward and take a further part of that landowner's land. I am concerned that the local authority could claim it had previously taken possession of part of that land, and that therefore the date of the valuation was the earlier date, even though the authority had no intent at that time of taking the land later.
I am clearly describing a what-if situation, but it is not entirely implausible that a local authority would acquire further land, discover that it needs to amend its scheme and thus acquire even further land. Since the local authority would have a new intent, the second date should be taken into account rather than the first.