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TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1932

UK Public General Acts

Version as enacted

1932 CHAPTER 48


  • Scope of Planning Schemes
  • Authorities
  • Procedure with respect to Schemes
  • Interim Development of Land
  • Contents and Effect of Schemes
  • Powers as to matters not finally dealt with by Scheme
  • Orders for Preservation of certain Buildings
  • Compensation and Betterment
  • Purchase of Land
  • Supplemental Provisions with respect to Schemes
  • Provisions as to Garden Cities
  • Powers of Minister
  • Legal Proceedings
  • Miscellaneous Provisions
  • Version as enacted

Introductory Text

Town and Country Planning Act 1932

1932 CHAPTER 48

An Act to authorise the making of schemes with respect to the development and planning of land, whether urban or rural, and in that connection to repeal and re-enact with amendments the enactments relating to town planning; to provide for the protection of rural amenities and the preservation of buildings and other objects of interest or beauty; to facilitate the acquisition of land for garden cities; and to make other provision in connection with the matters aforesaid.

[12th July 1932]

Be it enactedby the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Scope of Planning Schemes


1 Scope of planning schemes

A scheme may be made under this Act with respect to any land, whether there are or are not buildings thereon, with the general object of controlling the development of the land comprised in the area to which the scheme applies, of securing proper sanitary conditions, amenity and convenience, and of preserving existing buildings or other objects of architectural, historic or artistic interest and places of natural interest or beauty, and generally of protecting existing amenities whether in urban or rural portions of the area.

Authorities


2 Local authority for purposes of Act

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the local authorities for the purposes of this Act shall be, as respects the city of London, the common council of that city, as respects the county of London, the London County Council, and elsewhere, the councils of county boroughs and county districts.

(2) The council of any county district may at any time by agreement relinquish in favour of the council of the county within which the district is situate, or, if the district extends into two or more counties, in favour of the council of any of those counties, any of their powers or duties under this Act upon such terms and subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified in the agreement, and the relinquishment may be either for a specified term or pending the rescission or variation of the agreement in pursuance of the terms thereof, and the agreement may apply with such modifications and adaptations, if any, as may be agreed, any of the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1929, relating to the transfer of property and liabilities. Where an agreement made under this section for relinquishing any power or duty to a county council is in force, any reference in this Act to a local authority shall, in relation to that power or duty, be construed as a reference to the county council.

(3) Where an agreement is made or is rescinded or varied under the last preceding subsection, the county council shall forthwith send a copy of the agreement or, as the case may be, notice of the rescission or variation to the Minister of Health (in this Act referred to as "the Minister").

3 Appointment of joint committees

(1) Where two or more authorities, being local authorities or county councils, are desirous of acting jointly in the preparation or adoption of a scheme, they may concur in appointing a joint committee for the purpose and in delegating, with or without restrictions, to that committee any powers, other than the power to borrow money or levy a rate, which any of the constituent authorities might exercise for the purpose, and in imposing on that committee any duties which any of the constituent authorities are required to discharge for the purpose.

(2) Every person appointed to represent a constituent authority on a joint committee must be a member of one at least of the constituent authorities, but the same person may be appointed to represent two or more of those authorities.

(3) A constituent authority may appoint their representative on a joint committee to serve as such for so long as he holds office as a member of any one of the constituent authorities, or for any shorter period.

(4) A joint committee may, with the consent of a majority of the constituent authorities, co-opt persons, whether members of a constituent authority or not, to serve as additional members of the committee, so, however, that at least three-fourths of the members of the joint committee shall be persons who are appointed members of that committee.

(5) A joint committee may appoint such and so many sub-committees, consisting either wholly or partly of members of the committee, as the committee think fit, so, however, that at least three-fourths of the members of a sub-committee shall be persons who are appointed members of the joint committee.

(6) The expenses of a joint committee shall be defrayed by the constituent authorities, or some or one of them, as they may agree, and if any question arises as to the authorities or authority by whom, or the proportions in which, any such expenses are to be defrayed, that question shall be determined by the Minister.

(7) The provisions of section fifty-eight of the Local Government Act, 1894, with respect to accounts and audit shall, with any necessary modifications, apply in relation to a joint committee as if county councils were included amongst the councils mentioned in subsection (1) of the said section fifty-eight.

4 Combination of authorities for purposes of schemes

(1) If it appears to the Minister to be expedient that two or more authorities, being local authorities or county councils, should act jointly in the preparation or adoption of a scheme, he may, at the request of any one or more of them by order provide for the constitution of a joint committee for the purpose and transfer to the committee any powers, other than the power to borrow money or levy a rate, and duties which any of the constituent authorities might exercise and discharge for the purpose :

Provided that, before making any such order,-the Minister shall, unless all the authorities affected thereby assent to the making thereof, cause a local inquiry to be held.

(2) An order under this section may provide for the application, with any necessary modifications, to the committee thereby constituted of any of the provisions of the last preceding section, and may, if it appears to the Minister to be necessary, provide for the dissolution of any joint committee constituted under the foregoing provisions of this Act or any repealed enactment relating to town planning.

5 Power to alter constitution of joint committees

(1) Where a joint committee have been appointed, whether under section three or section four of this Act or under any repealed enactment relating to town planning—

(a) the council of any county into which the district of any of the constituent authorities extends; or
(b) any local authority whose district adjoins the district of any of the constituent authorities;
shall at any time, if they desire to be represented on the joint committee and, in the case of a local authority, if the Minister considers that they ought to be so represented, be entitled to appoint such number of additional members of the committee and shall delegate to the committee such powers, other than the power to borrow money or levy a rate, and duties, as may be agreed with the joint committee or, failing agreement, may be determined by the Minister, and if at any time it appears to the Minister to be expedient that any such council or local authority as aforesaid who have not claimed to be represented on the joint committee should be so represented, he may by order make such alteration in the constitution of the committee and transfer to the committee such of the powers, other than as aforesaid, and duties of the said council or local authority as he thinks fit.
(2) A county council or local authority who by virtue of this section become represented on a joint committee shall for the purposes of subsections (2) to (7) of section three of this Act be deemed to be a constituent authority, but the alteration so made in the constitution of the committee shall not affect the identity of the committee, the validity of any previous proceedings thereof or the validity of any resolution previously passed by any of the constituent authorities.

Procedure with respect to Schemes


6 Preparation or adoption of schemes

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a local authority or a joint committee duly authorised in that behalf may, by resolution, decide—

(a) to prepare a scheme with respect to any land within, or in the neighbourhood of, the district of the authority or, as the case may be, the districts of the constituent authorities; or
(b) to adopt, with or without modifications, a scheme proposed by all or any of the owners of any such land.
(2) A resolution passed under the foregoing subsection shall not take effect unless and until it is approved by the Minister, and the Minister in giving his approval may vary the extent of the land to be included in the area to which the resolution is to apply, but the Minister shall not approve any such resolution unless he is satisfied—

(a) in the case of any land already built upon, that public improvements are likely to be made, or other development is likely to take place, within such a period of time and on such a scale as to make the inclusion of the land in a scheme expedient, or that the land comprises buildings or other objects of architectural, historic or artistic interest, or that the land is so situate that the general object of the scheme would be better secured by its inclusion;
(b) in the case of land which is neither already built upon nor in course of development, nor likely to be developed, that the land is so situated in relation to land which is already built upon, or in course of development, or on which development is likely to take place, as to make its inclusion in a scheme expedient, or that it comprises objects or places of natural interest or beauty:
Provided that nothing contained in this subsection shall prevent the Minister from approving a resolution adopting a scheme comprising land in respect of which he is not satisfied that the conditions specified in this subsection are complied with, if the scheme has been proposed by the owners of not less than two-thirds of that land and approved by not less than three-fourths of the owners of that land.
(3) A local authority or joint committee, before passing a resolution which will apply to—

(i) any land not within the district or, as the case may be, districts aforesaid; or
(ii) any land to which either a resolution to prepare or adopt a scheme, or a scheme, being a resolution or scheme passed or made by, another authority or committee, applies,
shall consult with every authority or committee who will be affected thereby.
(4) A resolution of a local authority or joint committee to prepare a scheme may be revoked, either as to the whole or any part of the area to which it applies, by a subsequent resolution of the authority or committee, or, if the Minister thinks that in the special circumstances of the case the resolution should be so revoked, by order of the Minister:

Provided that—
(a) a resolution under this subsection shall require the approval of the Minister, and the Minister may refuse to approve it except subject to such conditions as he thinks fit to impose; and
(b) before making an order under this subsection the Minister shall inform the authority or committee, as the case may be, of the order which he proposes to make and, if within twenty-eight days the authority or committee request him so to do, shall cause a local inquiry to be held into the matter.
(5) In giving his approval to a resolution under the last foregoing subsection, and in making an order thereunder, the Minister shall by the imposition of conditions or, as the case may be, by the terms of his order secure that—

(i) any person whose property has been injuriously affected by reason that since the commencement of this Act the Minister has refused, on an appeal made to him under an interim development order, to grant an application for permission to develop the property, or that the Minister has imposed any conditions on the grant of an application made since that date; and
(ii) any person who, for the purpose of complying with any conditions imposed on the grant of such an application, has since the commencement of this Act incurred expenditure which is rendered abortive by the revocation of the resolution to prepare a scheme,
shall be entitled, if he makes a claim for the purpose within twelve months from the date when the resolution is approved or the order is made, as the case may be, to claim compensation from such authority as may be specified in the condition or order:
Provided that the Minister shall not secure a right to compensation in respect of any injurious affection of property arising from refusal to permit any development, or from the imposition of any conditions, where he is satisfied that, if a scheme had come into operation containing provisions which would have had the effect of prohibiting that development, or under which those conditions could have been enforced, no right to compensation would have arisen under this Act in respect of the injurious affection of the property by the coming into operation of those provisions.

(6) Where a resolution or resolutions to prepare a scheme or schemes, has or have taken effect, the local authority or joint committee who passed the resolution or resolutions may prepare one scheme for dealing with the area to which the resolution applies or with the aggregate area to which the resolutions apply, as the case may be, or, if they think fit, may prepare different schemes for dealing with different parts of that area or aggregate area.

(7) Where under the last foregoing subsection a local authority or joint committee have power to prepare a scheme for any area, they may decide in lieu of proceeding with the preparation of a scheme to adopt, with or without modifications, a scheme for that area or any part thereof proposed by all or any of the owners of land in that area or part thereof. A decision under this subsection shall not be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be a resolution to adopt a scheme, but as from the date of the decision the resolution or resolutions to prepare a scheme or schemes shall, so far as concerns the area or part of an area to which the decision relates, have effect as if the resolution or resolutions had been for the adoption of a scheme.

(8) The foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply in the case of a resolution to prepare a scheme varying an existing scheme or to prepare a supplementary scheme as defined by this Act.

7 Notices in relation to the making of, or under, schemes

(1) Where a resolution to prepare or adopt a scheme has taken effect, the local authority or joint committee who passed the resolution, shall within the period specified in the next succeeding subsection—

(a) publish a notice of the resolution in the London Gazette and at least once during each of two successive weeks, with an interval between each publication of at least six clear days, in a local newspaper; and
(b) serve in the prescribed manner a like notice, in the case of every hereditament in the area to which the resolution applies, on the person shown as the occupier thereof in the latest assessment to income tax under Schedule A of the Income Tax Act, 1918, as amended by any subsequent enactment, and also upon the person so shown as the owner thereof. In this subsection the expression " latest assessment," in relation to any hereditament, means the last assessment to tax in respect of that hereditament allowed by the commissioners for the general purposes of the income tax before the date on which the resolution takes effect.
(2) A notice required by the last preceding subsection to be published and served in the manner therein mentioned shall be published in the London Gazette and once at least in a local newspaper within fourteen days, and be served within six months, after the date when the resolution takes effect, and shall contain—

(a) a concise statement of the effect of the resolution, together with information as to the place and times at which a map defining the area to which the resolution applies may be inspected; and
(b) a statement as to the right of persons concerned to have their names and addresses registered for the purpose of the service of subsequent notices; and
(c) in the case of a notice to be served on any person, a direction to the recipient to transmit it forthwith to the person, if any, to whom he pays rent for the property.
(3) A local authority or joint committee who are required under the foregoing provisions of this section to serve notices of a resolution may require the surveyor of taxes for the area to which the resolution applies to furnish to them, on payment at a rate not exceeding five shillings for every hundred entries numbered separately, a list of the names and addresses of the owners and occupiers within the said area as shown in assessments to income tax under Schedule A of the Income Tax Act, 1918, as amended by any subsequent enactment, being the assessments last allowed by the Commissioners for the general purposes of the income tax before such date as may be specified in the requisition.

(4) For facilitating the service of subsequent notices, the local authority or joint committee by whom the resolution to prepare or adopt a scheme was passed shall compile a register of names and addresses in accordance with the provisions hereafter in this section contained.

(5) Until the coming into operation of the scheme it shall be the duty of the authority by whom the register was compiled to keep and maintain the register, and after the coming into operation of the scheme it shall be kept and maintained by such authority as may be provided in the scheme, and the scheme may provide for different portions of the register being kept and maintained by different authorities and for all authorities concerned having reasonable access to any part of the register, and shall contain such provisions with respect to the keeping and maintenance of the register as appear to be necessary, including provisions for securing that information as to the custody of the register, or the different portions thereof, is given to persons concerned.

(6) Any person who is, or claims to be, an owner of any property in the area to which the resolution applies, and any association representing owners of property within the district of the local authority or the districts of the local authorities represented on the joint committee by whom the resolution was passed, and any local association representing business or industry, may from time to time by notice in writing, specifying in the case of an owner the property of which he claims to be the owner, require the local authority or committee who for the time being have charge of the register, or of the appropriate portion thereof, to register his or their name and address free of charge, in the case of an owner, in respect of the property specified in the notice and, in the case of an association, in respect of the district of the local authority or the districts of the local authorities represented on the joint committee by whom the resolution was passed. An authority or committee shall comply with any notice given to them under this subsection, and shall inform the person or association concerned that his or their name and address have been duly registered.

(7) Where by virtue of this Act or any regulation made thereunder a public notice is required to be given of any thing done or proposed to be done, or of any action taken or proposed to be taken, by a local authority, joint committee, or responsible authority, or the Minister, under the resolution, or under or by virtue of any scheme made in pursuance thereof, a copy of the notice shall be served on every person whose name and address appear in the register in respect of any property which will be affected, and on every association whose name and address appear in the register, and, if any subsequent resolution for the preparation or adoption of a scheme is passed by the local authority or joint committee who passed the original resolution, or by any authority represented on that committee and is approved by the Minister notice of the resolution shall be given to every association whose name and address appear in the register:

Provided that—
(a) at any time after the expiration of three years from the time when a request for registration or re-registration was last made by any person or association, the authority having charge of the register or of the relevant portion thereof may, by notice in writing, require that person or association to state within a period of one month whether he or they desire that his or their name and address shall be registered afresh, and unless within the said period a request for re-registration is duly made, the said authority may remove the name of that person or association from the register; and
(b) the authority may at any time, with the consent of any person or association, remove the name of that person or association from the register.
(8) The provisions of this section—

(a) shall not apply in relation to the service of any notice relating to the compulsory acquisition of land under this Act; and
(b) shall apply in relation to the service of notices in connection with a resolution to prepare or adopt a supplementary scheme under this Act or a scheme varying an existing scheme to such extent only, and subject to such modifications, if any, as may be prescribed.

8 Approval, validity, coming into effect, variation and revocation of schemes

(1) A scheme prepared or adopted by a local authority or joint committee shall require the approval of the Minister, and the Minister may approve any scheme either with or without modifications :

Provided that—
(i) where the resolution passed by the local authority or joint committee in pursuance of section six of this Act was a resolution to prepare a scheme, the draft scheme prepared in pursuance of the resolution shall, before submission to the Minister, be adopted by resolution of the local authority or joint committee at a meeting of which special notice indicating the business to be transacted has been given to each member; and
(ii) before making any modifications in a scheme, the Minister shall inform the local authority or joint committee, as the case may be, of the modifications which he proposes to make, and shall cause a local inquiry to be held into the matter if within twenty-eight days the local authority or joint committee request him so to do.
(2) The provisions of Parts I and II of the First Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to the laying of schemes before Parliament, the validity of schemes, and the dates on which schemes are to come into operation.

(3) A scheme may be varied, otherwise than by way of extension of the area to which the scheme applies, or may be revoked, by a subsequent scheme prepared, or adopted, and approved in accordance with this Act and any regulations made thereunder.

(4) The Minister, on an application made in accordance with the provisions of the next succeeding subsection, may, if he thinks that in the special circumstances of the case a scheme ought to be varied or revoked, himself make a scheme varying or revoking that scheme:

Provided that the Minister shall not make any variation in a scheme unless he is satisfied that it will not involve substantial additional expenditure by any responsible authority under the scheme who object to the variation being made. A scheme made by the Minister under this subsection shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to have been prepared or adopted by such authority or committee as may be specified in the scheme.

(5) An application to the Minister under this section may be made by any authority who are a responsible authority for any purposes of the scheme which it is proposed to vary or revoke, or by any joint committee appointed for the purpose of preparing a scheme in respect of an area comprising land to which the first mentioned scheme applies, or by any other authority or person who appear or appears to the Minister to be concerned.

9 Supplementary schemes for areas comprised in regional schemes

(1) In any case where a regional scheme is in operation, any local authority or joint committee may by resolution decide to prepare a scheme with respect to any land to which the regional scheme applies, being land in, or in the neighbourhood of, the district of the local authority or, as the case may be, the districts of any of the constituent authorities, or to adopt, with or without modifications, a scheme proposed by all or any of the owners of any such land.

(2) A scheme prepared or adopted under the preceding subsection (in this Act referred to as a " supplementary scheme ") shall incorporate, with or without modifications, all such provisions of the regional scheme as relate to the area to which the supplementary scheme applies and are not inconsistent with the provisions thereof, and may include such additional provisions as appear to be necessary or desirable.

(3) A resolution to prepare or adopt a supplementary scheme shall not affect the operation of the regional scheme or the powers of any authority thereunder, but as from the date on which the supplementary scheme comes into operation it shall, so far as respects the area to which it applies, have the effect of revoking the regional scheme.

(4) In this section the expression " regional scheme " means a scheme made, whether under this Act or under any Act repealed by this Act, by a joint committee.

Interim Development of Land


10 Interim development orders

(1) The Minister shall make a general order with respect to the interim development of land within the areas to which resolutions to prepare or adopt a scheme apply and may make special orders with respect to the interim development of any such land in any particular area. For the purposes of this section the expression " interim development " means development between the date on which the resolution takes effect, and the date of the coming into operation of the scheme.

(2) An order made under the preceding subsection (in this Act referred to as " an interim development order") may itself permit the development of land either unconditionally or subject to any condition specified in the order, or may empower any authority so specified to permit the development of land in accordance with the terms of the order.

(3) Where an application for permission to develop land is made to the specified authority in manner provided by the order, the authority may, subject to the terms of the order, grant the application unconditionally or subject to such conditions as they think proper to impose, or may refuse the application, and they shall be deemed to have granted the application unconditionally unless within two months from the receipt thereof, or within such longer period as the applicant may agree in writing to allow, they give notice to him that they have decided to the contrary, stating their reasons for so doing:

Provided that—
(a) an application for permission to erect a new building on the site of an existing building, or on the site of a building which was standing within two years before the date on which a resolution takes effect, if made before or within two years after the destruction or demolition of that previous building, or within twelve months after the date on which the resolution takes effect, whichever period last expires, shall not be refused and conditions shall not be imposed, if the effect of the refusal or imposition of conditions would be to render it impossible for the applicant to erect a building having a cubic content above the level of the ground as great as that of the previous building or, in the case of a previous building used for business or industry, to erect a building having as great a cubic content above the level of the ground and as great a superficial area on the ground floor as those of the previous building, except where either—
(i) the new building would not conform with a provision proposed to be inserted in the scheme for fixing, in relation to any street or proposed street, a line beyond which no building in that street or proposed street may project; or
(ii) it is proposed to include the site of the new building or part thereof in an area to be reserved by the scheme for a . purpose the carrying out of which in the future would necessitate the removal or the alteration of the new building;
(b) an application for permission to use any building which is erected in substitution for an existing building, or other such previous building as aforesaid, and is commenced within two years after the destruction or demolition of the previous building, for any purpose of the same or similar character as that for which the previous building was last used before its destruction or demolition shall not be refused unless such a use would be of a noxious or otherwise offensive character.
(4) In any case where an application under the last preceding subsection is refused or is granted subject to conditions, the authority may, if they think fit, make a contribution, the payment of which shall not be unreasonably delayed, towards any damage or expense which the applicant shows to their satisfaction that he is likely to suffer by reason of their decision.

(5) An applicant who is aggrieved by the refusal of the authority to consent to his application, or by any conditions imposed by them, may within twenty-eight days from the date on which he received notice of the decision of the authority, or such longer period as the Minister may allow, appeal to the Minister, and the Minister, after taking into consideration any offer by the authority to make a contribution under the last preceding subsection, may dismiss or allow the appeal, either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as he thinks proper to impose, but the Minister, before deciding any such appeal, shall, if either the appellant or the authority so desire, afford them an opportunity of appearing before and being heard by a person appointed by the Minister for the purpose. The decision of the Minister on an appeal under this subsection shall be final and shall have effect as if it were a decision of the authority.

(6) Where an appeal to the Minister under the last preceding subsection is dismissed on the ground only that the land to which the appeal relates, though otherwise suitable for immediate development, ought to be reserved by the scheme for a public open space, and the Minister is satisfied that, if the appeal had been allowed, the development for which permission was sought would have taken place within a reasonable period, the appellant, if he is entitled to dispose of the fee simple of the land with vacant possession, may, by notice in writing given to the authority within six months from the date of the Minister's decision, require the authority to purchase the land at a price to be agreed, or in default of agreement to be determined in accordance with the provisions of the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919, and the authority shall purchase the land accordingly.

(7) Where expenditure is necessarily incurred on buildings or works in order to comply with a condition confirmed or imposed by the Minister on an appeal to him under this section, and the condition was confirmed or imposed in anticipation of the reservation of land for a public purpose or the execution of works under the scheme, then, if the scheme as proposed to be approved by the Minister does not contain a provision for such reservation or execution of works, and the Minister, on representations made to him, is satisfied that the expenditure which has been so incurred is wholly or partly abortive on that account, the scheme shall provide that the person by whom the expenditure was incurred shall be entitled, if he makes a claim in that behalf within twelve months from the date on which the scheme comes into operation, to recover as compensation from the responsible authority so much of that expenditure as is abortive.

(8) An interim development order may empower any authority specified in the order, with the consent of the Minister, to suspend the operation of any enactments contained in local Acts and of any orders, byelaws or regulations, under whatever authority made, where it is expedient in order to promote the development permitted by or under the order.

(9) The foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply in any case where the scheme for the preparation or adoption of which a resolution has taken effect is a supplementary scheme or a scheme varying an existing scheme.