HC Deb 27 February 1956 vol 549 cc811-2
11. Mr. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many acres of agricultural land in Shropshire have been diverted to other uses during the last ten years.

Mr. Nugent

Between June, 1945, and June, 1955, it is estimated that approximately 6,400 acres of land went out of agricultural use in Shropshire, of which 2,000 acres were transferred to forestry and woodlands use. During the same period some 3,600 acres are estimated to have been restored to agriculture.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Has this disastrous trend been slowing down in more recent years? If not, what steps is my hon. Friend's Department prepared to take to see that this disastrous drift of agricultural land to other uses is halted as soon as possible?

Mr. Nugent

Every application to develop is examined not only in my Department but in other Departments, too, and each application to take land out of agricultural use is carefully considered on its merits; but if new houses, schools and playing fields are to be developed, land must be taken.

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