HC Deb 21 March 1961 vol 637 c187
16. Mr. Chataway

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he will introduce legislation to amend Section 12 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, in order to protect open land in National Parks from commercial afforestation.

Sir K. Joseph

No, Sir. Agreement has been reached between the various interests concerned for a voluntary scheme to control afforestation in the National Parks. The terms of this scheme were circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT on 14th February, 1961. My right hon. Friend would like to see this scheme given a fair trial.

Mr. Chataway

Is my hon. Friend aware that the bodies concerned with protecting the National Parks consider that this voluntary scheme is totally inadequate? Is he aware that there would not seem to be much logic in legislation which subjects every building proposal on open land to minute scrutiny and yet does nothing to prevent the public from having vast areas of open land taken away by commercial afforestation?

Sir K. Joseph

From a later letter in The Times from Sir Herbert Griffin, my understanding is that the sponsors of the memorandum urging statutory control also wish to see the voluntary scheme succeed.

Mr. Worsley

Does not my hon. Friend agree that there is great benefit in many of these National Park areas in the employment provided by afforestation schemes, and would he not agree that it should be part of Government policy to encourage them in suitable cases?

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