§ Lord Strabolgi
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether in order to comply with Council Directive [COM (91) final] dated 8th February 1991, it will not be necessary to revoke long standing planning permission for sites which have since been designated sites of special scientific interest, as any mineral extraction on such sites may cause considerable damage to the natural habitat of many rare and unusual species of flora and fauna.
§ The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Baroness Blatch)
I refer the noble Lord to the reply I gave on 13th June (col.WA69). Under the Habitats Directive as now proposed, the United Kingdom would select sites judged to be of Community importance from the SSSI network. The conservation of the selected sites would be in conformity with our obligations under the Directive. Minerals planning authorities already have powers to revoke or modify unsatisfactory minerals permissions wherever they occur. The Government are currently undertaking a review of these powers to see whether any changes are necessary.