§ Sir A. Bossom
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (1) whether his Department has a complete schedule of all places of unexcelled beauty in the countryside, not on the coast, either in private or public ownership; and what 29W action, outside the county planning officers' jurisdiction, is taken under his regulations to ensure that these are not defiled, but are preserved for the benefit of this and future generations;
(2) whether his Department now has a complete schedule of all the places of unsurpassed beauty round the coast, either in private or public ownership, and what provisions exist under his regulations to ensure that these are not defiled but are preserved for the benefit of this and future generations.
§ Mr. Bevins
Areas of exceptional natural beauty, both on the coast and elsewhere, were listed in the Report of the National Parks Committee published 1947. Under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949, the National Parks Commission has designated some of these areas as National Parks and is proceeding with its programme of designating others as "areas of outstanding natural beauty". The 1949 Act confers powers upon local authorities to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the designated areas, with the aid of Exchequer grant in certain circumstances. In addition, areas of great landscape value are shown in Development Plans.
Control over development in areas of natural beauty is, as elsewhere, primarily in the hands of the local planning authority, subject to the various powers reserved to the Minister under the Plan-nine Acts.