HC Deb 23 October 1968 vol 770 cc1427-30

Lords Amendment No. 25: In page 16, line 31, after Amendment last inserted, insert new Clause B— B.—(1) The Minister may give directions requiring applications for established use certificates to be referred to him instead of being dealt with by local planning authorities; and, on any such application being referred to him in accordance with such directions, section (Certification of established use) (4) above shall apply in relation to the Minister as it applies in relation to the local planning authority in the case of an application determined by them. (2) Where an application is made to a local planning authority for an established use certificate and is refused, or is refused in part, the applicant may by notice under this subsection appeal to the Minister; and on any such appeal the Minister shall—

  1. (a) if and so far as he is satisfied that the authority's refusal is not well-founded, grant to the appellant an established use certificate accordingly or, as the case may be, modify the certificate granted by the authority on the application; and
  2. (b) if and so far as he is satisfied that the authority's refusal is well-founded, dismiss the appeal.
(3) On an application referred to him under subsection (1) above or on an appeal to him under subsection (2) above, the Minister may, in respect of any use of land for which an established use certificate is not granted (either by him or by the local planning authority), grant planning permission for that use or, as the case may be, for the continuance of that use without complying with some condition subject to which a previous planning permission was granted. (4) Before determining an application or appeal under this section the Minister shall, if either the applicant or appellant (as the case may be) or the local planning authority so desire, afford to each of them an opportunity of appearing before, and being heard by, a person appointed by the Minister for the purpose. (5) The decision of the Minister on an application referred to him, or on an appeal, under this section shall be final. (6) In the case of any use of land for which the Minister has power to grant planning permission under this section, the applicant or appellant shall be determined to have made an application for such planning permission; and any planning permission so granted shall be treated as granted on the said application.

Read a Second time.

Mr. Clegg

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, in line 1, leave out 'applications' and insert: 'an application or applications in general or of a specified class'. This is in the nature of a probing Amendment. The Clause which the Lords Amendment brings in gives the Minister power to give directions requiring applications for an established use certificate to be referred to him.

Mr. Speaker

Order. On this Amendment we can debate the Lords Amendment as well.

Mr. Clegg

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

No indication is given as to just which applications the Minister will require to be sent to him. I looked at the debate in another place and obtained singularly little information from it. Lord Kennet said very little. I asked the Minister to say just what cases he had in mind.

Mr. MacColl rose

Mr. Speaker

Is the hon. Member for North Fylde (Mr. Clegg) begging that someone should intervene, or is he moving his Amendment? Is he inviting the Minister to intervene?

Mr. Clegg

No. I have said all I want to say, Sir.

Mr. MacColl

All good Parliamentary Secretaries are trained to say as little as they possibly can. That helps to get through the business. That, I am sure, is how my noble Friend was assisting in another place.

The hon. Member for North Fylde (Mr. Clegg) said that his is a probing Amendment, so I shall explain the position. We do not think that it will be necessary to call in groups of cases. It will be only single applications which normally will be called in. Most of these cases will not be called in but there can be exceptional cases where there is a call in and it is important that in those cases it should be also possible to call in the established use certificate as well as the application ancillary to it. It is not, in our judgment, necessary to have this extra power.

Mr. Graham Page

Surely the word "applications" in the Lords Amendment includes what my hon. Friend the Member for North Fylde (Mr. Clegg) put in his Amendment. Although it may be the intention of the Minister to call in only single applications when they are important enough to receive his immediate consideration, the new Clause as worded would enable him to call in applications in general or a specified class. What the Parliamentary Secretary has put on the record will be rather confusing to those in practice to know whether there is a possibility of the Minister calling in from a district or numbers of a certain kind. 'The wording is not definite and it leaves one in some doubt.

I hope that the rubric to the new Clause will be written a little more clearly. It does not refer to an established use certificate at all, but speaks of the "Grant of certificate". This is not part of the Bill, but it helps when the marginal note explains what is in the Clause.

Question put and negatived.

Mr. McColl

I beg to move the following consequential Amendment to the Bill, in page 19, line 27, leave out 'section 16(2)' and insert 'sections 16(2) and (Grant of certificate by Minister on referred application or appeal against refusal) (4)'. This Amendment deals with the transfer of appeals to inspectors. It is important also to bring the new Clause "B" in and that is the purpose of this Amendment.

"( ) There a person (in this subsection called 'the contractor') is under contract to another person (in this subsection called 'the developer') to carry out any operations on land and—
(a) a stop notice takes effect (whether in relation to the developer or the contractor, or both) prohibiting the carrying out or continuance of those operations; and
(b) the operations are countermanded or discontinued by the contractor accordingly,
10 then, unless and in so far as the contract makes provision explicitly to the contrary of this subsection, the developer shall be under the same liability in contract as if the operations had been countermanded or discontinued on instructions given by him in breach of the contract.
15 This subsection applies only to contracts entered into on or before 1st November 1969, whether before or after the commencement of this section."

Read a Second time.

Mr. Speaker

I suggest that we take with this Amendment Lords Amendment No. 30.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords Amendment, as amended, agreed

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