HC Deb 22 March 1945 vol 409 cc989-90
61. Mr. Tinker

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning if he is informed when the ground is levelled after the finish of opencast mining; and, as it takes years for the settling of land after the removal of the coal, what steps he proposes to take to preserve the amenities of the countryside in such cases.

Mr. W. S. Morrison

In reply to the first part of the Question, information is given in every case to the Ministry of Agriculture before the top-soil is replaced. I do not regard it as necessary that information should also be given to my Department. As regards the second part of the Question, I am satisfied that all practicable steps for restoration of the land in question are being taken.

Mr. Tinker

When the land sinks, after a certain time, the Ministry of Fuel and Power have done with it; and surely it is the job of the Minister of Town and Country Planning to put it in proper order?

Mr. Morrison

The top-soil is restored, under the supervision of the local war agricultural committee. In all the cases of which I know the best service to the amenity of the neighbourhood is to restore the land to agricultural use.

Mr. R. J. Taylor

Does that include laying the drains, as they were before?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir; it includes all steps to restore the fertility of the land, as it previously existed.