HC Deb 23 May 1979 vol 967 cc151-2W
Mr. John Mackay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state his policy on planning applications which might be submitted for development in the Island of Iona.

Mr. Younger

The Island of Iona is in part a conservation area and the planning authority—Argyll and Bute district council—exercises a careful policy of development control throughout the island. I am confident that it will continue to do so. It is my general policy to leave planning authorities to decide all planning applications unless they raise matters of national importance. However in this case I am ready, if I consider it necessary after consultation with the district council, to make a special direction requiring that all planning applications for the island which the planning authority proposes to approve be notified to me so that I can consider whether to call in for my own decision any proposals for development or change of use which would alter the unique character of the island.