§ Mr. Speller
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the reasons for the delay in resolving the appeal lodged on 6 December 1979 by C. Edwards Casings Co. Ltd. under the Town and Country Planning Act 1972; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
The company has appealed under section 36 of the 1971 Act against North Devon district council's refusal of outline planning permission for an animal products processing factory at Whiddon Valley, Barnstaple.
Although the parties agreed to adopt the written representations method for determining the appeal, the exchanges of representations have given rise to a number of new matters which now make it necessary for a public inquiry to be arranged. This will enable an inspector, assisted by a specialist assessor, to consider and advise my right hon. Friend on the relevant issues. The inquiry will be held as soon as possible and my right hon. Friend's decision will be made as quickly as practicable thereafter.