The Preservation of Rural Amenities On Friday, February 21st, Sir
Hilton Young obtained an unchallenged second reading for his Rural Amenities Bill. The Bill is necessary because local authorities have not used their power to pass by-laws. Among many important provisions one of the most important is that County Councils shall be enabled to act as planning authorities if other authorities are backward. They are to be enabled to buy up land in order to prevent ribbon development, to prevent the destruction or sale of trees and buildings, and they and other local authorities are to be compelled to consume refuse within their own boundaries. Advertisers whose advertisements are a " nuisance " on common land are to be proceeded against, and no woodlands of over a certain size are to be despoiled. The Bill was long overdue. Sir Hilton Young has promised to satisfy in Committee those who would have it extended and strengthened, especially by the inclusion of urban districts. The principle of compensation in the Bill is that the depreciation of some properties is to be paid for by the appreciation of others. The Bill therefore stands or-falls by the Committee stage, and it is to be hoped that the Government will find time for it. Every year's postponement means greater difficulties.