HL Deb 13 March 1991 vol 527 cc7-8WA
The Lord Gainford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will bring forward proposals for the better protection of sites of special scientific interest as foreshadowed in the White Paper This Common Inheritance

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment (Baroness Blatch):

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has today published a consultation paper on planning controls over sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) with my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

The Government are firmly committed to the conservation of the natural heritage. SSSIs are a key part of the nature conservation framework, and we wish to ensure that their value is taken fully into account in the operation of the town and country planning system.

The paper proposes the following additional safeguard for SSSIs in England and Wales:

Withdrawal of permitted development rights for certain temporary recreational uses of land;

An amplification of the policy on calling in planning application;

Additional advice on environmental assessment;

A new requirement for local planning authorities to consult the Nature Conservancy Council about planning applications adjacent to SSSIs.

Comments on the paper, which is available from the Department of the Environment are invited by 17th May.