§ Mr. Leadbitter
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to enforce safe distances from chemical plants and refineries for residential building.
§ Mr. Oakes
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Bill now before the House makes provision for the licensing of industrial premises of a potentially hazardous nature. The Secretary of State for Employment will have power to make280W regulations which could include safety distances or enable them to be imposed in the licence. There are also provisions for ensuring that local planning authorities have the information and advice they need when taking planning decisions.
Meanwhile we are sending a circular letter to local planning authorities reminding them of the advice in circular 1/72 of January 1972 that they should take safety factors into account when considering applications for potentially hazardous uses and for residential and other development nearby; and that they should seek expert advice from Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate.