§ Mr. Morgan
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he proposes to designate the middle Severn estuary proposed special protection area for nature conservation and register it with the European Commission.
§ Mr. Yeo
[holding answer 22 June 1993 ]: The Severn estuary is one of a programme of sites on which the Department is currently working to complete the network of special protection areas (SPAs) in the United Kingdom. SPA designation has significant long-term implications for both nature conservation and land use planning. Detailed consultations are essential to ensure that any conflicts of interest are closely examined, together with the scientific evidence, before a site is designated. I am unable to say when a decision about the Severn will be taken. The Government have designated 72 special protection areas, 23 in the past 12 months.