§ 14. Mr. Chapman
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his estimate of the proportion of land in the 588 Principality on which special town and country planning controls operate, with the purpose of protecting the environment.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Mark Robinson)
About 25 per cent. of Wales, comprising mainly national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty, is covered by special development orders. Other controls covering these and other areas of land apply for specific environmental protection purposes.
§ Mr. Chapman
I welcome the relatively high proportion of land that has special protection. Will my hon. Friend assure the House that the protection of the environment will remain the dominant consideration in any future planning applications in such areas, particularly in the light of the recent consultation paper about the future of agricultural land use?
§ Mr. Robinson
I am delighted to give my hon. Friend that assurance. The need to protect the countryside from uncontrolled development remains as strong as ever. The special protection afforded to national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty and other areas of special importance will be fully maintained.