§ 19. Mr. Michael Latham
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what specific action his Department takes to prevent the loss of good agricultural land for urban or other development or mineral extraction; and what has been the approximate average annual loss over the last 10 years.
§ Mr. Strang
My Department is required to be consulted over all proposals to develop significant areas of agricultural land for other purposes. Objection is made whenever, in our view, a proposal runs counter to the Government's policy for the protection of the better agricultural land. For the 10 years ending June 1975, the last period for which information is available, it is estimated from annual census information that about 15,900 hectares of agricultural land in England and Wales were transferred each year to urban and other development including mineral extraction.