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The Earl of Lytton moved Amendments Nos. 39 to 47:


Page 5, line 41, leave out ("prescribed in subsection (1)") and insert ("mentioned in subsections (1) and (1A)").
Page 5, line 44, leave out ("to which subsection (1)") and insert ("where this section").
Page 5, line 45, after ("to") insert ("excavate, or excavate for and").
Page 5, line 46, leave out ("notice in writing of his proposals") and insert ("a notice indicating his proposals and").
Page 6, line 2, after ("building") insert ("or structure").
Page 6, line 4, leave out from ("showing") to end of line 6 and insert ("--
(a) the site and depth of any excavation the building owner proposes to make;
(b) if he proposes to erect a building or structure, its site.").
Page 6, line 8, leave out ("express his consent to it in writing within fourteen days") and insert ("serve a notice indicating his consent to it within the period of fourteen days beginning with the day on which the notice referred to in subsection (3) was served,").

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Page 6, line 13, leave out ("twelve months after the notice has been") and insert ("the period of twelve months beginning with the day on which the notice was").
Page 6, line 20, leave out ("the") and insert ("any").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 6, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 7 [Compensation, etc.]:

The Earl of Lytton moved Amendments Nos. 48 to 51:


Page 6, line 25, leave out ("the adjoining owner or to the") and insert ("any adjoining owner or to any").
Page 6, line 26, leave out ("the") and insert ("any").
Page 6, line 33, leave out second ("the") and insert ("any").
Page 6, line 35, leave out ("the") and insert ("an").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

The Earl of Lytton moved Amendment No. 52:


Page 6, line 41, leave out from first ("in") to end of line 44 and insert ("accordance with section 10;
and no deviation shall be made from those plans, sections and particulars except such as may be agreed between the owners (or surveyors acting on their behalf) or in the event of dispute determined in accordance with section 10.").

The noble Earl said: The above amendment goes beyond superficial change and makes it clear that surveyors can agree deviations--as, indeed, they most often do--rather than the owners agreeing between themselves, certainly on the more complicated cases. The amendment simply restates what already happens in practice in inner London. In a way, the position is analogous to the kind of amendment to a planning consent that in planning law would be agreed to by a planning officer under delegated powers without specifically going back to his committee. It would serve to speed up and streamline procedures if matters could be dealt with in that way. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 7, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 8 [Rights of entry]:

The Earl of Lytton moved Amendments No. 53 to 55:


Page 7, leave out lines 4 and 5 and insert--
("(3) No land or premises may be entered by any person under subsection (1) unless the building owner serves on the owner and the occupier of the land or premises--").
Page 7, line 6, leave out ("his") and insert ("the").
Page 7, line 8, leave out ("fourteen days' notice of his intention to enter") and insert ("such notice of the intention to enter as complies with subsection (4)").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

The Earl of Lytton moved Amendment No. 56:


Page 7, line 8, at end insert--
("(4) Notice complies with this subsection if it is served in a period of not less than fourteen days ending with the day of the proposed entry.
(5) A surveyor appointed or selected under section 10 may during usual working hours enter and remain on any land or premises for the purpose of carrying out the object for which he is appointed or selected.

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(6) No land or premises may be entered by a surveyor under subsection (5) unless the building owner who is a party to the dispute concerned serves on the owner and the occupier of the land or premises--
(a) in case of emergency, such notice of the intention to enter as may be reasonably practicable;
(b) in any other case, such notice of the intention to enter as complies with subsection (4).").

The noble Earl said: This amendment provides an extended framework for entry, following notice, on the property of others. There is a vital component here in that surveyors are given rights of entry pursuant to notice, not just the property owners. That is essential if surveyors are to draw up schedules of condition and the adjoining owner's property is to be fully protected by an assessment of necessary precautionary measures.

Although access for surveyors is not specifically included in the equivalent provisions of the London building Acts, it is in fact what happens in any event as a matter of course in inner London. The amendment does no more than put that provision on the face of the Bill. I beg to move.

The Earl of Kinnoull: Clause 8 deals with the rights of entry and allows the,


    "building owner, his servants, agents and workmen",
to enter property during "usual working hours", subject to 14 days' notice. The contents of Amendment No. 56 describe precisely the same powers of entry, as I understand it. There is no definition of surveyor in the Bill. Therefore, surely he could either be deemed as an agent or, indeed, he could be added to the list in subsection (1) which would then cover the purpose of the amendment. It would also reduce the size of the Bill.

The Earl of Lytton: The acoustics are a little poor in this part of the Chamber and, therefore, I am not sure that I correctly heard everything that the noble Earl said. All I can say in defence of the way that the amendment is worded is that the legislation has been scrutinised extremely carefully by the department's legal officers and parliamentary counsel. The amendment was felt to be the best method to deal with the matter.

As with many such matters, it is possible that the provisions of the Bill could be recombined in different ways. It is a matter of style in order to achieve the best clarity of what is intended for the reader of the Bill when, as I hope, it becomes an Act of Parliament in due course. I do not wish to take issue with the promoters or, indeed, with the legal advice on the stylistic approach involved. I do not feel that I am qualified to do so.

However, the amendment would provide a specific arrangement for surveyors, in addition to that of property owners. It could indeed be amalgamated elsewhere. If the noble Earl feels very strongly about the matter, I am sure that we could discuss it to ascertain what could be done. Nevertheless, with that explanation, I hope that the noble Earl will accept from me that this is probably the best and clearest way to deal with the matter. I hope that I have answered his point.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 8, as amended, agreed to.

22 May 1996 : Column 943

Clause 9 agreed to.

Clause 10 [Resolution of disputes]:

The Earl of Lytton moved Amendments Nos. 57 to 68:


Page 7, leave out line 27 and insert--
("(b) neglects to act for a period of ten days beginning with the day on which either party serves a request on him;").
Page 7, line 31, leave out subsection (4) and insert--
("(4) If either party to the dispute--
(a) refuses to appoint a surveyor under subsection (1)(b), or
(b) neglects to appoint a surveyor under subsection (1)(b) for a period of ten days beginning with the day on which the other party serves a request on him,
the other party may make the appointment on his behalf.").
Page 7, line 41, at end insert ("or (5)").
Page 7, line 42, leave out from ("refuses") to ("and") in line 44 and insert ("to act effectively, the surveyor of the other party may proceed to act ex parte").
Page 7, line 45, at end insert--
("(6A) If a surveyor--
(a) appointed under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) by a party to the dispute; or
(b) appointed under subsection (4) or (5),
neglects to act effectively for a period of ten days beginning with the day on which either party or the surveyor of the other party serves a request on him, the surveyor of the other party may proceed to act ex parte in respect of the subject matter of the request and anything so done by him shall be as effectual as if he had been an agreed surveyor.").
Page 8, line 1, leave out from ("under") to end of line 4 and insert ("subsection (1)(b) by a party to the dispute refuses to select a third surveyor under subsection (1) or (8), or neglects to do so for a period of ten days beginning with the day on which the other surveyor serves a request on him--").
Page 8, line 11, leave out subsection (8) and insert--
("(8) If a third surveyor selected under subsection (1)(b)--
(a) refuses to act;
(b) neglects to act for a period of ten days beginning with the day on which either party or the surveyor appointed by either party serves a request on him; or
(c) dies, or becomes or deems himself incapable of acting, before the dispute is settled,
the other two of the three surveyors shall forthwith select another surveyor in his place with the same power and authority.").
Page 8, line 18, leave out from ("any") to end of line 20 and insert ("matter--
(a) which is connected with any work to which this Act relates, and
(b) which is in dispute between the building owner and the adjoining owner.").
Page 8, line 29, leave out ("Providing that") and insert ("but").
Page 8, line 40, leave out subsections (13) and (14) and insert--
("(13) Where the surveyors appointed by the parties make an award the surveyors shall serve it forthwith on the parties.
(14) Where an award is made by the third surveyor--
(a) he shall, after payment of the costs of the award, serve it forthwith on the parties or their appointed surveyors; and
(b) if it is served on their appointed surveyors, they shall serve it forthwith on the parties.").
Page 9, line 1, leave out from ("may") to ("appeal") in line 2 and insert (", within the period of fourteen days beginning with the day on which an award made under this section is served on him,").

22 May 1996 : Column 944


Page 9, leave out lines 4 to 6 and insert--
("(a) rescind the award or modify it in such manner as the court thinks fit; and
(b) make such order as to costs as the court thinks fit.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 10, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 11 [Expenses]:


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