§ Mr. Stephen Ross
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment why the Countryside Commission order for the designation of the North Pennines as an area of outstanding natural beauty has not yet been confirmed; and whether a decision on this matter is likely to be taken shortly.
§ Mr. Macfarlane
Consideration of this order and three others currently before my right hon. Friend was deferred pending publication of the Government's response to the Countryside Commission's review of general policy towards areas of outstanding natural beauty. My right hon. Friend made a statement in that respect on 29 July—[Vol. 28, c.707– 710]—and we now expect to announce our intentions concerning the North Pennines order within the next few weeks.