§ Mr. Hanley
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many applications have been made for consents to carry out notifiable operations in the Strangford Lough area of special scientific interest; and in how many cases consents have been granted.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
To date, 45 applications have been made. In 36 cases consents have been issued and in two cases consents were not actually required. Three consents are expected to be given shortly and four cases are as yet unresolved.
I am pleased to note that 22 of the applications were verbal. Landowners and occupiers are taking full advantage of this less formal approach which was introduced by article 10 of the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.