HC Deb 10 February 1971 vol 811 cc513-4
32. Mr. Maddan

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he intends to take to meet the criticisms contained in paragraph 1.2 of the Third Report of the Countryside Commission.

Mr. Peter Walker

It is not for me to defend the record of the previous Government, but as far as I am concerned I will at all times take landscape and conservation aspects fully into account when proposals for development are before me.

Mr. Maddan

When doing that, will my right hon. Friend pay particular attention to the areas now occupied by military establishments of one sort or another?

Mr. Walker

I am delighted that my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Defence has agreed to have a committee to look into all the establishments now owned by the Defence Department. I had the opportunity of nominating such distinguished people as the Chairman of the Countryside Commission to sit on that committee.

Mr. Denis Howell

Whilst it is quite true that it is not for the right hon. Gentleman to defend our record. is not it also true that on further mature consideration by him and his colleagues they have confirmed the original Chilterns route which their predecessors took?

Mr. Walker

It is true that one of the four points criticised in the Report is the Chilterns route, and that we confirmed our support of the original route taken. I am glad that we have now obtained the conversion of the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, a distinguished landscape artist, to support our original view.