§ 27. Mr. Carol Johnson
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which statutory and other organisations he consults when considering the effect of Section 11 of the Countryside Act, 1968, on applications to him for ploughing grants.
§ Mr. John Mackie
There is no provision for such consultation. But our officials personally inspect all land in respect of which such application is made and satisfy themselves about the amenity aspect before the application is approved and work is begun.
§ Mr. Johnson
Would my hon. Friend reconsider that answer and study carefully the Section of the Act to which I have referred, in view of the firm assurances which were given during the passage of that Measure that this was an important matter to which the Minister would give serious attention? Having regard to the fact that the ploughing of moorland may well have an effect on the amenity of the area, should not there be some regular system of consultation with the interested parties
§ Mr. Mackie
I will give thought to the suggestion made by the hon. Gentleman. A farmer can plough without a grant if he wishes. There are safeguards in the Countryside Act for areas of 1005 special amenity interest. We have consultations with the amenity interests and I will bear in mind what my hon. Friend says.