§ Mr. William Edwards
asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether, in view of the continuing interest in oil and mineral development in Wales, and in view of the complex issues facing planning authorities receiving applications to explore and develop these resources, he will appoint a permanent planning commission to consider and advise planning authorities upon issues involved in these developments.
§ Mr. Peter Thomas
Under the present arrangements local planning authorities are free to seek such independent expert advice as they may require to deal with planning applications, including applications of the kind referred to in the question. The views of other bodies with interests in these major issues are also usually made available to the authorities. I do not consider that the appointment of a permanent advisory body would represent an improvement in these arrangements.