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Civil Defence Act 1939

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

7Powers of local authorities to construct underground shelters and other premises required for civil defence purposes

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, the local authority may enter on any land, after giving not less than twenty-eight days' notice in writing to the occupier and, if and in so far as it is reasonably practicable so to do, to the persons having the fee simple or a lease of the land or any part thereof, and there construct—

(a)an underground air-raid shelter or other underground premises required by the authority for use in the event of hostile attack in carrying out any of their civil defence functions;

(b)entrances to, and shafts and other necessary works for ventilating, draining, lighting and heating the shelter or premises.

(2)Where the local authority propose to construct any such underground shelter or premises by virtue of this section in any protected square or in any allotment, common or open space, or in any land held inalienably by the National Trust, the following provisions shall apply—

(a)the authority shall, in addition to giving any notice required by the preceding subsection, publish by advertisement in a newspaper circulating in the area of the authority a notice describing the nature of their proposals and specifying the land to which they relate, and naming the place where plans illustrative of their proposals may be inspected at all reasonable hours by any person free of charge;

(b)if, within twenty-eight days after the publication of the notice, any notice of objection to the proposals is served on the local authority by any person affected thereby, the authority shall refer the notice of objection to the Minister for his consideration and shall not proceed with the proposals unless the Minister, after holding, if he thinks fit, an inquiry, has approved them, either with or without modification.

(3)The local authority may, in the exercise of their powers under this section, construct a shelter or other premises under any highway :

Provided that, in the case of a highway for the maintenance of which a highway authority is responsible, the local authority shall not exercise those powers without the consent of the highway authority (if it is a different authority) and shall not be required to serve any notices on persons having an estate or interest in the subsoil of the highway.

(4)Any shelter or premises constructed by the local authority under this section, together with the entrances to the shelter or premises and any shafts or other works executed in connection with the shelter or premises, shall, on completion, vest in the authority, and the authority shall be entitled to do anything reasonably necessary for the maintenance of any such shelter, premises, entrances, shafts or works and shall have such powers of entry as are necessary for that purpose.

(5)The local authority shall pay to any person having an estate or interest in any land in which works are constructed under this section such compensation, if any, as may be just in respect of any damage caused to him by reason of the construction of the works or of anything done by the authority for the maintenance thereof.

(6)The powers conferred on local authorities by this section shall be exercisable notwithstanding anything in any Act (including a local or private Act) but shall not be exercisable with respect to any land occupied by public utility undertakers or persons carrying on any hydraulic power undertaking for the purposes of their undertaking and, as respects any other land, shall be exercisable subject to the following conditions :—

(a)that the local authority shall not interfere with any mains, pipes, apparatus, or works belonging to such undertakers or persons unless they have given to those undertakers or persons not less than fourteen days' notice of their intention so to do nor in any case in which those undertakers or persons intimate in writing to the local authority within fourteen days after the receipt of such notice their intention themselves to carry out any reasonably necessary removal, diversion, or alteration of their mains, pipes, apparatus, or works, and proceed with reasonable dispatch to complete the removal, diversion or alteration;

(b)that the local authority shall repay to the under takers or persons the amount of any expenses reasonably incurred by them in connection with any such removal, diversion, or alteration; and

(c)that if the local authority cause any damage to any such mains, pipes, apparatus, or works, they shall repay to the undertakers or persons the amount of the expenses reasonably incurred by them in making good the damage.

(7)In this section the expression " protected square " has the meaning assigned to it by section two of the London Squares Preservation Act, 1931, and the expressions " allotment," " common," and " open space," nave the same meanings as in Part II of the Third Schedule to the Town and Country Planning Act, 1932, and the expression " the National Trust," has the same meaning as in section forty of the Finance Act, 1931, as amended by section twenty-seven of the Finance Act, 1936.

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