§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will consider urgently the 120 situation of Sker House, Glamorgan, and its neighbouring land, beach and dunes with the object of safeguarding the environment, preserving this ancient and historic house and retaining its surroundings in their natural beauty.]
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SECURITY (LORD ABERDARE)
My Lords, this is a matter within the competence of the local planning authority, and Her Majesty's Government do not propose to intervene.
§ LORD OGMORE
My Lords, does the noble Lord remember that only last month the Government produced a White Paper (Cmnd. 4506) the effect of which is that, except in Scotland and Wales where the Scottish and Welsh Offices will continue to play the major part, the new Department of the Environment will be responsible for the whole range of functions affecting people living in the environment? Is this not the case here? May I also ask whether the noble Lord is aware that this house is probably the oldest continuously inhabited house in Wales, having been lived in since the 12th century? Does he also realise that this whole matter of the environment in this particular area is causing great concern in South Wales?
§ LORD ABERDARE
My Lords, I am well aware of all the points made by the noble Lord, and of the special historical reasons for being careful about what happens to this house. But so is the Glamorgan County Council, which is the planning authority, and the Government have every confidence in the Council's ability to safeguard the environment in this case.