HC Deb 18 June 1979 vol 968 cc892-4
11. Sir Raymond Gower

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what advice and guidance he will give planning authorities in Wales regarding the protection and preservation of rural areas such as the Vale of Glamorgan; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Roberts

Local planning authorities have been given advice on this fundamental planning consideration in the past and my right hon. Friend has no immediate plans to issue fresh guidance.

Sir R. Gower

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is great concern in parts of my constituency, such as Peterston-super-Ely, Pendoylan and Welsh St. Donats, about the proposal to establish an industrial site at the Miskin interchange of the M4? I appreciate that my hon. Friend cannot reply to that question now as the issue is in some respects sub judice, but will he give an assurance that account is taken of the fact that South Wales has suffered heavily in the past from the effects of the first Industrial Revolution and has a limited amount of beautiful rural countryside? Is account taken of these factors?

Mr. Michael Roberts

Account is taken of these factors. My hon. Friend raises a fundamental planning problem—namely, how planning authorities should resolve the conflict between the needs of developers and the protection of the environment. As for the development at Miskin, my right hon. Friend is awaiting the report of the inspector who held the recent public inquiry into the proposals. My right hon. Friend will give careful consideration to the report and all the relevant considerations, and will issue his decision as soon as possible.

Mr. John

Will the Minister convey to the hon. Member for Barry (Sir R. Gower) my thanks for the paeons of praise that he has showered upon the beauty of my constituency? Will he also mention that if the rural Vale of Glamorgan is to be preserved and protected there is a desperate need for jobs? When an industrial site is created, there is no reason why we should make the mistakes of the first Industrial Revolution. Modern industrial sites are no eyesores. It is only the commuters of Peterston-super-Ely who are comfortably in jobs elsewhere who think so.

Mr. Michael Roberts

There is a conflict between the needs of developers and the protection of the environment. I know that the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John) is interested in both.

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