HC Deb 22 April 1948 vol 449 c1983
13. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the President of the Board of Trade why a licence was granted by the Timber Control of the Board of Trade permitting Galley Hill Wood in the Green Belt area of Essex to be stripped of all its timber to the consternation of the authorities concerned in the Green Belt.

Mr. H. Wilson

A licence for a selective felling in Galley Hill Wood, under which no trees with a butt diameter of less than nine inches are being felled, was issued in July, 1947, after the local authority had been consulted and had offered no objection. The authority subsequently asked that, despite the fact that it had made no Tree Preservation Order, certain trees should be left, and I understand that this request was to be discussed at a meeting between the various parties concerned yesterday.

Sir W. Smithers

Will the President in future, before destroying historic woodlands, take into full consultation the town and country planning authorities and the local authorities concerned?

Mr. Wilson

In these matters we always ask first, whether a tree preservation order has been made by the local authority. In this case no such order had been made. I understand that at yesterday's meeting complete agreement was reached about the trees to be cut.

Mr. Vane

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider transferring these powers to the Minister of Agriculture, whose department, the Forestry Commission, is really responsible, in logic, for these things, and not the Board of Trade?

Mr. Wilson

That is another question.