§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to permit local authorities to commission and carry out surveys and research on their own behalf in order to assess and attempt to verify the findings of any investigation by NIREX into the suitability of sites in their area for the construction of nuclear waste repositories.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
Local authorities already have powers under the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1976 to deem themselves planning permission for development which could include geological surveys, where this is necessary. I am not aware that legislation is required to enable local authorities to carry out research not involving development under planning legislation.