§ Mr. Martyn Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how shellfish structures or associated shore-based developments are classified under the planning system; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what powers he has to control the siting of shellfish farms and associated shore-based structures; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Chope
The breeding and keeping of livestock (which can include fish and shellfish) for the production of food falls within the definition of "agriculture" in section 290(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971. Class A of part 6 of schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1988 grants permitted development rights for the carrying out on agricultural land of building works or any excavation or engineering operations reasonably necessary for the purposes of agriculture, subject to a range of conditions. In national parks and some adjacent areas the exercise of some of these rights is subject to approval by the local planning authority.
Class C of part 6 grants additional permitted development rights to carry out operations to construct fishponds or other engineering operations on agricultural land for the purposes of a fish or shellfish farming business registered under the Diseases of Fish Act 1983, again subject to a range of conditions. Any fish or shellfish farming development that does not satisfy the conditions of part 6 requires specific planning permisson. The Department's consultation paper on possible new permitted development rights in the countryside, issued on 8 May, invited views on whether it would be desirable to curtail permitted development rights for fish farming in national parks. Responses to this consultation paper are now being considered.