Clause 10 - Powers of entry for the purposes of complaints and appeals

High Hedges (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:00 pm ar 7 Mai 2003.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Steve Pound Steve Pound Llafur, Ealing North

I thank you, Mr. Atkinson, not just for the able way in which you are chairing the Committee, but for your kind comments. I would say only that I wish that I had known that before.

The clause relates to the powers for entering the land, both to establish whether there is a problem and in connection with any subsequent action. It provides for prior notice, supplementary powers, safeguards and appeals inspectors, and delineates the offences.

Photo of Bob Russell Bob Russell Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol, Colchester

Bearing it in mind that we are talking about quite large living structures, why should it be necessary physically to enter the land? Would not it be possible to take photographs—to stand and admire—so that landowners need not experience the nuisance of the heavy-footed local authority sending in its troops?

Photo of Steve Pound Steve Pound Llafur, Ealing North

I do not recognise the description of the heavy-footed local authority—the jack-booted gauleiter is a breed that we do not recognise in west London. Yet again, the hon. Gentleman is mistaken in the perspective from which he views the problem. In many cases, one will have to visit what is literally the root cause of the problem to establish its precise location, if for no other reason than to establish where ground level is. The clause is drawn sensitively so that the facts can be established. If the facts were not established, it is unlikely that appeals against enforcement could be resisted.

Photo of Bob Russell Bob Russell Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol, Colchester

I assure the hon. Gentleman that I fully support the Bill, and I hope that it is enacted. The purpose behind my questions is to ensure that people at appeals and inquiries will not be able to find loopholes through which to escape.

Photo of Steve Pound Steve Pound Llafur, Ealing North

It is precisely for that reason that we require designated officers to enter the land; we want them to make a visual assessment and a subsequent report.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 10 ordered to stand part of the Bill.