§ Mr. Harvey
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his current policy on planning regulations and consents in environmentally sensitive areas; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Baldry
The Government's planning policy for areas of environmental sensitivity, including national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty, is set out in planning policy guidance note 7, "The Countryside and 155W the Rural Economy". Paragraph 3.18 states that designation as an environmentally sensitive area under the Agriculture Act 1986 does not affect the status of the area in terms of national planning policies or development control regulations. However, the features which contributed to the designation of the area as an ESA may sometimes also be important features in local countryside planning policies and development control decisions.