§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which of the three counties of Yorkshire make use of aerial surveys to monitor mineral workings; if he will list all encroachments that have occurred during the last five years: what action has been taken by his Department where infringement has taken place; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Chope
Day to day planning for mineral working, including the taking of measures to deal with unauthorised extraction, is the responsibility of the appropriate planning authority.
In North Yorkshire, the county council is the mineral planning authority. In the former metropolitan counties of South and West Yorkshire, this function is the duty of the respective metropolitan district councils.
My Department does not collect information or keep records on the use made by local authorities of aerial surveys to monitor mineral working or the number of encroachments. Unauthorised working is not reported to my Department as a matter of course, but cases may come before the Secretary of State if there is an appeal against an enforcement notice or stop notice issued by a mineral planning authority.