HC Deb 21 October 1982 vol 29 c495
13. Mr. Heddle

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his policy towards the recommendations in the Flowers report "Coal and the Environment" which affect his responsibilities.

Mrs. Fenner

Our general policy is to try to ensure that agricultural land losses are kept to a minimum and that the interests of agriculture and the coal industry are properly balanced. My officials are participating in the interdepartmental discussions on the recommendations in the report.

Mr. Heddle

Does my hon. Friend agree that farmers suffer a grave injustice because they cannot claim compensation for consequential loss in the event of coal mining subsidence? In the light of the Flowers report will my hon. Friend urge my right hon. Friend to amend the voluntary code at an early date?

Mrs. Fenner

I am aware of my hon. Friend's concern that those affected by mining subsidence should be properly compensated, but while I am concerned to safeguard the interests of the agriculture industry, compensation for subsidence is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy, as my hon. Friend will know.