HL Deb 09 May 1984 vol 451 cc1005-6WA
Lord Chelwood

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will publish a table showing in how many cases since the Forestry Commission started ther sale of land and plantations after the Forestry Act 1981 came into operation, amenity and conservation bodies (shown separately) have been offered land by private treaty, giving details of the sizes and planting of each parcel; in how many cases offers were taken up, at what price per hectare and why; and in how many cases land in sensitive areas was offered for sale without these bodies being given the opportunity to buy by private treaty or without their being given advance information that a sale was contemplated.

The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Lord Gray of Contin)

Early notice of all proposed sales of plantations of more than five hectares, and of smaller plantations where there is a known conservation interest, is given by the Forestry Commission in the Estates Gazette. This allows public and private bodies to advise the commission of any interest they might have in a property and gives amenity and conservation bodies an opportunity to seek support from the appropriate government department or agency for a private treaty sale under the so-called sponsorship arrangements.

No central record is maintained of cases where amenity or conservation bodies having expressed interest have not entered negotiations or where negotiations to purchase have not been successful. A number of plantations of amenity and conservation value have, however, been sold by the commission to voluntary bodies by private treaty, mainly through the sponsorship arrangements. These cases are listed in the following table, although I am not prepared to depart from normal practice by showing the price per hectare paid for each property.

Name of Property Area Under Trees (Hectares) Total Area (Hectares)
Chideock (West), Dorset 37.6 40.0
Siccaridge Wood, Gloucestershire 10.0 27.7
Hurst Wood, Kent 3.0 16.5
Part Muckton Wood, Lincolnshire 17.0 17.0
Grass Wood, North Yorkshire 57.0 65.4
Whitecross Green and Oriel Wood, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire 35.5 63.0
Beacon Wood, Somerset 1.0 135.2
Boon's and Buller's Copses, Somerset. 3.8 3.8
Bulls Wood, Suffolk 12.0 12.0
Cilrhedyn Uchaf, Dyfed 3.8 4.5
West Lane, The Knoll and Coed Wen (Salisbury Wood), Gwent 24.7 24.7
Coed Cae Fali, Gwynedd 54.8 63.2
Coed Cymerau Isaf, Gwynedd 27. 5 32.3
Coed y Bedw, Mid Glamorgan 16.0 16.0
Talgarth Hospital Woods, Powys 8.0 8.0
Gam Llwyd, South Glamorgan 11.5 13.0
Nicholaston Wood, West Glamorgan 25.5 27.0