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a straw what property they take away from any groundlandlord, and thus suspicion attaches to every line of new law they desire to impose. Surely some power of appeal against unwarrantable delay on the part of the Council in passing plans, and unreasonable demands upon an owner's land, should be provided, otherwise, an owner would be almost forced to agree to the Council's requirements, however unjust they may be.
Clause (g), however, is fairly startling. (Clause (h) is unobjectionable.) The removal of gates and bars, without any compensation for loss of quietude-for which quietude lessees pay heavily-was sufficiently bold, but the success of that step has encouraged the Council to further inroads upon private property, which may end no one knows where. The Council is to have power, "under proper safe
guards," (whatever that may mean) to "close or divert use"less roads, paths, or rights of way." I cannot help the use of italics for these words: the proposal amounts to a most unjustifiable attempt to step in and take away valuable property. Just think, for one moment, of the hundreds of roads, paths, and rights of way in London, which are clearly and distinctly the property of private individuals. The Council, some fine day, declares these are
useless," and proceeds to "close" them-and by so doing, they close access to valuable estate, and leave the land to take care of itself—or they "divert" them. Upon whose land do they "divert" them? It must be upon someone's! So they kill two birds with one stone. They "close" a road or a path on one owner's land, and "divert" it across another owner's land, and not a word about compensation appears in the clause. This clause demands the most strenuous and uncompromising opposition on the part of every landowner in London. I see in it powers of confiscation of the largest character, and these are doubly magnified when I remember
the views from time to time expressed by individual members
of the London County Council.
WM. WOODWARD, Fellow.
“(a) That existing buildings should not be raised or extended so as "to contravene the provisions of the Bill as to height and
open space in front which are applicable to new buildings,
or where they already contravene such provisions they "should not be raised or extended so as to make matters
'(b) That domestic buildings not abutting upon any streets shall "be subject to restrictions as to height and open space
about them similar mutatis mutandis to those to which "buildings abutting on streets are subject, and that it be "unlawful to erect buildings other than domestic buildings "of such height or in such position in relation to domestic "buildings existing previously to the year 1890, as to deprive "the latter of the amount of light and air provided for by "other clauses of the Bill.
"(c) That buildings erected anew upon old foundations shall, unless "the Council otherwise allow, be subject to the same restric"tions of height as new buildings erected upon new sites. "(d) That buildings erected anew upon old foundations, or erected "in old streets shall, unless the Council otherwise allow, "be set back at the same distance from the centre of the "road as applies to new buildings erected on vacant land, "but that in their case the owner shall not be compelled to
I give up to the public way the land so left free from buildings.
"(e) That provision be made for the adequate ventilation of internal areas or shafts, constructed with a view to providing light "and air to rooms in domestic buildings, and for regulating "the dimensions of the same.
"(f) That it should be an offence to lay out any new street without "the sanction of the Council in writing.
(g) That in cases arising in the administration of the Building Act, the Council shall have power, under proper safe
guards, to close or divert useless roads, paths, or rights-ofway.
"(h) That the Council be empowered to frame by-laws to regulate
lamps, signs, or other structures overhanging the public way, such by-laws to be enforced by the vestries."
Public Health (London) Act, 1891.
BY-LAWS BY THE LONDON COUNTY COUNCIL, UNDER SECTIONS 16 AND 39.
It has occurred to me that a Note calling attention to these by-laws, and some questions arising upon the same, followed by a copy in extenso of the by-laws themselves, would be of considerable service to many of the Town Members of our Institution.*
Though these by-laws were allowed by the Local Government Board as far back as 28th June this year, and came into operation forthwith, I find that very few surveyors or builders are aware of their existence, nor did our PRESIDENT in his Address from the Chair take occasion to refer to them. A correspondent in the Builder, a few weeks ago, called attention to the fact that they were little known, and also that they were of special interest as being the first instalment towards a uniform set of regulations for the whole of London, which, from many points of view (certainly from my own), would, with advantage, supersede the present regulations, varying as they do with each sanitary or building authority in London, and necessitating special study on the part of a surveyor undertaking work in a district new to him.
I have said that, from many points of view, such uniformity is desirable; I understand, however, that these by-laws are objected to by the sanitary authorities. representing poorer districts, on the ground that the standard set is too high, and that while it is reasonable, in a well-to-do district, to insist on, say, brass thimbles and caulked lead joints to iron soil-pipes of heavy substance, it
For the convenience of Members, the new By-Laws referred to are printed in extenso, pages 303-315.
becomes somewhat oppressive in the case of inferior property.
Of course there is a reply to this objection, which I will not stop to consider; but I will simply say that, in my judgment, it is a mistake to set a standard too high, because the more costly the improving of sanitary arrangements is made, the less disposed will the owners of property be to incur that expense voluntarily.
Section 16 of the Act sets forth the subjects on which the various sanitary authorities enumerated in Section 99 are to make by-laws for the prevention of certain nuisances, and enacts that the London County Council shall make by-laws for prescribing the times for the removal or carriage by road or water of fæcal or offensive matter or liquid in or through London, &c.; and as to the closing and filling up of cesspools and privies; and the duties of the occupier of premises with regard to house refuse, so as to facilitate the removal of it by the sanitary authority.
Every sanitary authority shall observe and enforce such by-laws.
The by-laws made, so far as the London County Council are concerned, under this section, sufficiently speak for themselves. (See page 303.)
The by-laws under Section 39 require careful study. The section of the Act itself reads thus:
"The County Council" (i.e., the London C. C.) "shall "make by-laws with respect to water-closets, earth-closets, privies, ashpits, cesspools, and receptacles for dung, and the
proper accessories thereof in connexion with buildings, "whether constructed before or after the passing of this Act." (The italics are mine, and I call special attention to them.)
"Every sanitary authority shall make by-laws with respect to the keeping of water-closets supplied with
"sufficient water for their effective action" (no doubt in view of difficulty anticipated in framing a general by-law consistent with the powers of the various water companies).
"It shall be the duty of every sanitary authority to "observe and enforce the by-laws under this section, and "any directions given by the sanitary authority under this "Act shall be in accordance with the said by-laws, and so "far as they are not so in accordance shall be void."
The City of London is specially exempted from the operation of these by-laws by Section 133.
I will not attempt to go through the whole of the bylaws seriatim, but have jotted down a few notes upon some of them.
By-law 1. It will be noted that the external wall or walls of the closet are to abut upon the street, or upon a yard, or garden, or open space of not less than 100 square feet of superficial area, measured below floor level. There is an exemption or modified requirement in favour of closets in basements, but this does not apply on the ground floor, and it will not seldom be difficult, if not impossible, to construct a w.c. on the ground floor, where it is often most wanted, because of this regulation. I know already of an instance in point.
By-law 2. This is calculated to cause difficulty, because a top light and ventilation will not meet the requirement. A case in point is before me at this moment. In a new building, situated in a mews, the water-closet is placed on the upper floor at the back. Owing to the class of occupiers, and to the fact that the buildings looking on to the back of these stables are buildings of a superior character, we desired to prohibit any opening in the back wall for light, providing instead a lantern light with vertical opening lights to serve both for light and ventilation. If this regulation is strictly enforced, a restriction, reasonable in itself under the