Housing Act 1985

Clearance areasE+W

289 Declaration of clearance area.E+W

(1)A clearance area is an area which is to be cleared of all buildings in accordance with the following provisions of this Part.

[F1(2)If the local housing authority are satisfied, in relation to any area—

(a)that each of the residential buildings in the area contains a category 1 hazard, and

(b)that the other buildings (if any) in the area are dangerous or harmful to the health or safety of the inhabitants of the area,

declaring the area to be a clearance area is a course of action available to the authority in relation to the hazard or hazards for the purposes of section 5 of the Housing Act 2004 (category 1 hazards: general duty to take enforcement action).

(2ZA)The local housing authority may declare an area to be a clearance area if they are satisfied that—

(a)the residential buildings in the area are dangerous or harmful to the health or safety of the inhabitants of the area as a result of their bad arrangement or the narrowness or bad arrangement of the streets; and

(b)that the other buildings (if any) in the area are dangerous or harmful to the health or safety of the inhabitants of the area.

(2ZB)The local housing authority may declare an area to be a clearance area if they are satisfied that—

(a)that each of the residential buildings in the area contains a category 2 hazard,

(b)that the other buildings (if any) in the area are dangerous or harmful to the health or safety of the inhabitants of the area, and

(c)the circumstances of the case are circumstances specified or described in an order made by the Secretary of State.

Subsection (8) of section 265 applies in relation to an order under this subsection as it applies in relation to an order under subsection (3) or (4) of that section.

(2ZC)In this section “residential buildings” means buildings which are dwellings or houses in multiple occupation or contain one or more flats.

This is subject to subsection (2ZD).

(2ZD)For the purposes of subsection (2) or (2ZB)—

(a)subsection (2ZC) applies as if “two or more flats” were substituted for “one or more flats”; and

(b)a residential building containing two or more flats is only to be treated as containing a category 1 or 2 hazard if two or more of the flats within it contain such a hazard.

(2ZE)Subsections (2) to (2ZB) are subject to subsections (2B) to (4) and (5B).]

(2B)Before declaring an area to be a clearance area, the authority shall—

(a)serve notice of their intention to include a building in the clearance area on every person who has an interest in the building (whether as freeholder, lessee or mortgagee) and also, in the case of a residential building, on every person who has such an interest in any flat in the building; and

(b)take reasonable steps to inform any occupiers of a residential building who do not have such an interest in the building or a flat in the building as is referred to in paragraph (a) of their intention to include the building in the clearance area; and

(c)publish in two or more newspapers circulating in the locality (of which one at least shall, if practicable, be a local newspaper) notice of their intention to declare the area to be a clearance area.

(2C)A notice served under paragraph (a) of subsection (2B) shall invite representations from the person on whom the notice was served within such reasonable period, being not less than twenty-eight days after the date on which the notice is served, as may be specified in the notice.

(2D)The authority shall, by the steps taken in relation to occupiers of a residential building as mentioned in paragraph (b) of subsection (2B), invite representations from those occupiers within such reasonable period, expiring not less than twenty-eight days after the date on which the steps are taken, as may be specified by the authority.

(2E)A notice published in accordance with paragraph (c) of subsection (2B) shall invite representations from any interested persons within such reasonable period, being not less than twenty-eight days after the date on which the notice is published, as may be specified in the notice.

(2F)The authority shall consider all representations made under subsections (2C), (2D) and (2E) and, in the light of the representations, shall take whichever of the following decisions they think appropriate, that is to say—

(a)they may decide to declare the area to be a clearance area; or

(b)they may decide to declare the area to be a clearance area but exclude such residential buildings which [F2contain category 1 or category 2 hazards] as they think fit; or

(c)they may decide not to declare the area to be a clearance area.

(3)[F3Subject to subsection (5B), where the authority decide to declare an area to be a clearance area in accordance with paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of subsection (2F)] they shall—

(a)cause the area to be defined on a map in such manner as to exclude from any area

[F4(i)any residential building which is not [F5dangerous or harmful to health or safety]

(ii)any other building which is not dangerous or [F6harmful to health or safety] ; and

(iii)any residential buildings which, by virtue of subsection (2F)(b), they have decided to exclude from the area; and]

(b)pass a resolution declaring the area so defined to be a clearance area.

(4)Before passing such a resolution the authority shall satisfy themselves—

(a)that, in so far as suitable accommodation does not already exist for the persons who will be displaced by the clearance of the area, the authority can provide, or secure the provision of, such accommodation in advance of the displacements which will from time to time become necessary as the demolition of the buildings in the area, or in different parts of it, proceeds, and

(b)that the resources of the authority are sufficient for the purposes of carrying the resolution into effect.

(5)The authority shall forthwith transmit to the Secretary of State a copy of any resolution passed by them under this section, together with a statement of the number of persons who on a day specified in the statement were occupying the buildings comprised in the clearance area.

[F7(5A)F8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(5B)Subject to section 578A, a clearance area may not include any parcel of land which is not contiguous with another parcel of land within the area; and, where the effect of subsection (3) would otherwise be that a clearance area would comprise two or more separate and distinct areas, paragraph (b) of that subsection shall have effect as if for the words “pass a resolution declaring the area so defined” there were substituted ”if the effect of paragraph (a) would otherwise be that the area would comprise two or more separate and distinct areas, pass a separate resolution in respect of each of those areas declaring each of them]

(6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F9

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Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 289(2)-(2ZE) substituted (18.11.2004 for specified purposes and 6.4.2006 in so far as not already in force for E. and 16.6.2006 in so far as not already in force for W.) for s. 289(2)(2A) by Housing Act 2004 (c. 34), ss. 47, 270(2)(b)(4)(5); S.I. 2006/1060, art. 2(1)(a) (with Sch.); S.I. 2006/1535, art. 2(a)

F2Words in s. 289(2F)(b) substituted (6.4.2006 for E. and 16.6.2006 for W.) by Housing Act 2004 (c. 34), ss. 265(1), 270(4)(5), Sch. 15 para. 19; S.I.2006/1060, art. 2(1)(d) (with Sch.); S.I. 2006/1535, art. 2(b) (with Sch.)

F5Words in s. 289(3)(i) substituted (6.4.2006 for E. and 16.6.2006 for W.) by Housing Act 2004 (c. 34), ss. 265(1), 270(4)(5), Sch. 15 para. 19(3)(a); S.I. 2006/1060, art. 2(1)(d) (with Sch.); S.I. 2006/1535, art. 2(b) (with Sch.)

F6Words in s. 289(3)(ii) substituted (6.4.2006 for E. and 16.6.2006 for W.) by Housing Act 2004 (c. 34), ss. 265(1), 270(4)(5), Sch. 15 para. 19(3)(b); S.I. 2006/1060, art. 2(1)(d) (with Sch.); S.I. 2006/1535, art. 2(b) (with Sch.)

F8S. 289(5A) repealed (6.4.2006 for E. and 16.6.2006 for W.) by Housing Act 2004 (c. 34), ss. 266, 270(4)(5), Sch. 16; S.I. 2006/1060, art. 2(1)(e)(v) (with Sch.); S.I. 2006/1535, art. 2(c)(v) (with Sch.)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 289 restricted (11.9.1996 for specified purposes and 16.12.1997 otherwise) by 1996 c. 53, s. 131(1); S.I. 1996/2352, art. 2(2); S.I. 1997/2846, art. 2

290 Acquisition of land for clearance.E+W

(1)So soon as may be after the local housing authority have declared an area to be a clearance area, they shall proceed to secure the clearance of the area (subject to and in accordance with the provisons of this Part) by purchasing the land comprised in the area and themselves undertaking, or otherwise securing, the demolition of the buildings on the land.

(2)Where the authority determine to purchase land comprised in a clearance area, they may also purchase—

(a)land which is surrounded by the clearance area and the acquisition of which is reasonably necessary for the purpose of securing a cleared area of convenient shape and dimensions, and

(b)adjoining land the acquisition of which is reasonably necessary for the satisfactory development or use of the cleared area.

(3)Where the authority have determined to purchase land under this section, they may purchase the land by agreement or be authorised by the Secretary of State to purchase the land compulsorily.

(4)The powers conferred by subsection (3) are exercisable notwithstanding that any of the buildings within the area have been demolished since the area was declared to be a clearance area.

291 Method of dealing with land acquired for clearance.E+W

(1)A local housing authority who have purchased land under section 290 shall, so soon as may be, cause every building on the land to be vacated and deal with the land in one or other of the following ways, or partly in one of those ways and partly in the other, that is to say—

(a)themselves demolish every building on the land within the period mentioned in subsection (2) and thereafter appropriate or dispose of the land, subject to such restrictions and conditions (if any) as they think fit, or

(b)dispose of the land as soon as may be subject to a condition that the buildings on it be demolished forthwith, and subject to such restrictions and other conditions (if any) as they think fit.

(2)The period within which the authority is to demolish a building under paragraph (a) of subsection (1) is six weeks from the date on which the building is vacated or such longer period as in the circumstances they consider reasonable.

(3)This section has effect subject to—

  • section 301 (retention of premises for temporary housing use),

  • sections 305 and 306 (suspensions of clearance procedure on building becoming listed), and

  • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F10

(4)The references in subsection (1) to appropriation or disposal under the general powers conferred by section 122 or 123 of the M1Local Government Act 1972.

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Amendments (Textual)

Marginal Citations

292 Power to discontinue proceedings if acquisition of land proves unnecessary.E+W

Where the local housing authority have submitted to the Secretary of State an order for the compulsory purchase of land in a clearance area and the Secretary of State, on an application being made to him by the owner or owners of the land and the authority, is satisfied—

(a)that the owner or owners of the land, with the concurrence of any mortgagee of the land, agree to the demolition of the buildings on the land, and

(b)that the authority can secure the proper clearance of the area without acquiring the land,

the Secretary of State may authorise the authority to discontinue proceedings for the purchase of the land on their being satisfied that such covenants have been or will be entered into by all necessary parties as may be requisite for securing that the buildings will be demolished, and the land become subject to the like restrictions and conditions, as if the authority had dealt with the land in accordance with the provisions of section 291.

293 Property belonging to the local housing authority.E+W

(1)The local housing authority may include in a clearance area land belonging to them which they might have included in the area if it had not belonged to them, and the provisions of this Part apply to land so included as they apply to land purchased by the authority as being comprised in the clearance area.

(2)Where land belonging to the local housing authority is surrounded by or adjoins a clearance area and might, had it not previously been acquired by them, have been purchased by the authority under section 290(2), the provisions of this part apply to that land as they apply to land purchased by the authority as being surrounded by or adjoining the clearance area.

294 Extinguishment of public rights of way over land acquired.E+W

(1)The local housing authority may, with the approval of the Secretary of State, by order extinguish any public right of way over land acquired by them under section 290 (land acquired for clearance) [F11as from such date as the Secretary of State in approving the order may direct].

(2)Where the authority have resolved to purchase under that section land over which a public right of way exists, [F12an order made by the authority in advance of the purchase and approved by the Secretary of State (whether before or after the purchase) shall extinguish that right as from such date as the Secretary of State in approving the order may direct].

(3)The order shall be published in such manner as may be prescribed and if objection to the order is made to the Secretary of State before the expiration of [F13four] weeks from its publication [F14then, subject to subsection (4)], he shall not approve the order until he has caused a public local inquiry to be held into the matter.

[F15(4)The Secretary of State may dispense with such an inquiry as is referred to in subsection (3) if he is satisfied that in the special circumstances of the case the holding of such an inquiry is unnecessary.]

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Amendments (Textual)

295 Extinguishment of other rights over land acquired.E+W

(1)Upon the completion by the local housing authority of the purchase by them under section 290 (land acquired for clearance)—

(a)all private rights of way over the land,

(b)all rights of laying down, erecting, continuing or maintaining apparatus on, under or over the land, and

(c)all other rights or easements in or relating to the land,

shall be extinguished and any such apparatus shall vest in the authority.

(2)Subsection (1) has effect subject to—

(a)any agreement which may be made between the local housing authority and the person in or to whom the right or apparatus is vested or belongs, and

(b)sections 296 and 298 (which relate to the rights and apparatus of statutory undertakers and certain operators of [F16electronic communications networks]).

(3)A person who suffers loss by the extinguishment of any right or the vesting of any apparatus under subsection (1) is entitled to be paid by the local housing authority compensation to be determined under and in accordance with the M2Land Compensation Act 1961.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

296 Apparatus of statutory undertakers.E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

(1)Section 295(1) (extinguishment of rights over land acquired for clearance and vesting of apparatus in local housing authority) does not apply to—

(a)any right vested in statutory undertakers of laying down, erecting, continuing or maintaining any apparatus, or

(b)any apparatus belonging to statutory undertakers.

(2)Where the removal or alteration of apparatus belonging to statutory undertakers—

(a)on, under or over land purchased by a local housing authority under section 290 (land acquired for clearance), or

(b)on, under or over a street running over, or through, or adjoining any such land.

is reasonably necesssary for the purpose of enabling the authority to exercise any of the powers conferred on them by the provisions of this Part relating to clearance areas, the authority may execute works for the removal or alteration of the apparatus, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of section 297 (procedure for removal or alteration of apparatus).

(3)The local housing authority shall make reasonable compensation to statutory undertakers for any damage sustained by the undertakers by reason of the execution by the authority of works under this section and not made good by the provision of substituted apparatus; and any question as to the right of undertakers to recover such compensation or as to its amount shall be referred to and determined by the [F17Upper Tribunal].

(4)In this section—

(a)statutory undertakers” means persons authorised by an enactment, or by an order, rule or regulation made under an enactment, to construct, work or carry on a railway, canal, inland navigation, dock, harbour, tramway, gas, . . . F18, . . . F19 or other public undertaking;

(b)apparatus” means sewers, drains, culverts, water-courses, mains, pipes, valves, tubes, cables, wires, tranformers and other apparatus laid down or used for or in connection with the carrying, conveying or supplying to any premises of a supply of water, water for hydraulic power, gas or electricity, and standards and brackets carrying street lamps;

(c)references to the alteration of apparatus include references to diversion and to the alteration of position or level.

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Amendments (Textual)

F17Words in s. 296(3) substituted (1.6.2009) by The Transfer of Tribunal Functions (Lands Tribunal and Miscellaneous Amendments) Order (S.I. 2009/1307), art. 5(1)(2), {Sch. 1 para. 173} (with Sch. 5)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

297 Procedure for removal or alteration of apparatus under s. 296.E+W

(1)A local housing authority who intend to remove or alter apparatus in exercise of the power conferred by section 296—

(a)shall serve on the undertakers notice in writing of their intention with particulars of the proposed works and of the manner in which they are to be executed and plans and sections of them, and

(b)shall not commence any works until the expiration of the period of 28 days from the date of service of that notice;

and within that period the undertakers may, by notice in writing served on the authority, make objections to, or state requirements with respect to, the proposed works as follows.

(2)The undertakers may object to the execution of the works, or any of them, on the ground that they are not reasonably necessary for the purpose mentioned in section 296(2); and if objection is so made to any works and not withdrawn, the authority shall not execute the works unless they are determined by arbitration to be so necessary.

(3)The undertakers may state requirements to which, in their opinion, effect ought to be given as to—

(a)the manner of, or the conditions to be observed in, the execution of the works, or

(b)the execution of other works for the protection of other apparatus belonging to the undertakers or for the provision of substituted apparatus, whether permanent or temporary;

and if any such requirement is so made and not withdrawn, the authority shall give effect to it unless it is determined by arbitration to be unreasonable.

(4)At least seven days before commencing any works which they are authorised by section 296, or required by subsection (3), to execute, the local housing authority shall, except in case of emergency, serve on the undertakers notice in writing of their intention to do so; and the works shall be executed by the authority under the superintendence (at the expense of the authority) and to the reasonable satisfaction of the undertakers.

(5)If within seven days from the date of service on them of such a notice the undertakers so elect, they shall themselves execute the works in accordance with the reasonable directions and to the reasonable satisfaction of the authority; and the reasonable costs of the works shall be repaid to the undertakers by the authority.

(6)Any matter which by virtue of subsection (2) or (3) is to be determined by arbitration, and any difference arising between statutory undertakers and a local housing authority under subsection (4) or (5), shall be referred to and determined by an arbitrator to be appointed, in default of agreement, by the Secretary of State.

298Telecommunication apparatus.E+W

(1)F20. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(2)Where a public right of way over land is extinguished by an order under section 294 and immediately before the order comes into operation there is under, in, on, over, along or across the land [F21electronic communications apparatus] kept installed for the purposes of [F22an electronic communications code network] , the powers of the operator of [F23the network] in respect of the apparatus are not affected by the order, but any person entitled to the land over which the right of way subsisted may require the alteration of the apparatus, and paragraph 21 of [F24the electronic communications code](procedure for exercise of right to require removal of apparatus) applies.

(3)Section 295(1) (extinguishment of other rights over land acquired for clearance and vesting of apparatus in local housing authority) does not apply to—

(a)any right conferred by or in accordance with [F24the electronic communications code] on the operator of [F22an electronic communications code network] , or

(b)[F21electronic communications apparatus]kept installed for the purposes of such [F25a network];

but the local housing authority may, where it is reasonably necessary for the purpose of enabling the authority to exercise any of the powers conferred on them by the provisions of this Act relating to clearance areas, execute works for the alteration of such apparatus, and paragraph 23 of the telecommunications code (procedure for works involving alteration of apparatus) applies.

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Amendments (Textual)

299. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F26E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

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Amendments (Textual)