HC Deb 22 July 1991 vol 195 c392W
Mr. Bowis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when the Government will publish their consultation paper on planning controls over fish farms.

Mr. Yeo

We have today published a consultation paper on permitted development rights for freshwater fish farming in England and Wales. The paper seeks views on proposals intended to align planning controls over fish farming as closely as possible with those over other forms of agriculture, building on measures in the Planning and Compensation Bill.

On 11 June my hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning announced that full development control would be extended to all agriculture holdings of less than 5 hectares, and to parcels of land of less than 1 hectare on larger holdings [Official Report, columns 482–85.]. We propose similar provisions for fish farms.

The Planning and Compensation Bill will bring floating fish tanks (cages) in inland waters fully within planning control. Outside the national parks, we propose that these structures should be subject to the prior notification scheme which was announced on 11 June for other agricultural buildings. We have already announced that in the national parks they will be subject to full planning control, along with fish farm excavations and engineering operations.

The Bill also provides for the Secretary of State to make regulations requiring environmental assessment of any class of development. We propose to use this new provision to require EA for trout farming which is likely to have significant environmental effects. Salmon farming is already subject to EA where it is likely to have such effects.