§ Mr. Craigen
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will make a statement on the extent of his Department's involvement in the promotion of the Forth and Clyde canal for leisure, recreation and amenity purposes;
(2) what consideration he has given to district council local plans within the Strathclyde region and Central region in respect of the Forth and Clyde canal.
§ Mr. Younger
My Department has not been involved directly in the promotion of the Forth and Clyde canal for leisure, recreation and amenity purposes. I am, however, aware that a number of local authorities, including Strathclyde regional council and Falkirk district council, and other bodies are at present involved in the preparation of a local plan dealing specifically with recreational, amenity and commercial uses which might be expected to develop on the canal. I understand that the authorities and bodies involved have agreed that the processing of the plan through its statutory stages should be the responsibility of Strathclyde regional council and Falkirk district council. Although my Department has been keeping abreast of progress on its preparation, the plan will not be formally submitted to me until such time as it has been finalised and an opportunity has been given to interested parties to make representations on its provisions. I am informed that the plan is not likely to reach that stage before the autumn of this year.
§ Mr. Craigen
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what assistance the Scottish Development Agency is providing in the development of amenity, leisure and recreational usage of the Forth and Clyde canal.
§ Mr. Allan Stewart
By way of land renewal schemes designed to bring about an overall environmental improvement to the canal, the agency has spent some £1.25 million. In the current financial year two further land renewal projects totalling £110,000 are planned. In addition, as a member of a working group led by the British Waterways Board, the agency will be contributing to the cost of a study of the development potential of the canal.