§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make it his policy to hold a public inquiry into any proposals from oil exploration companies for development and exploitation of oil resources under the sea in Caernarfon Bay or Cardigan Bay.
§ Mr. Eggar
Any company seeking to develop offshore reserves must apply to my Department for development consent under the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-lines Act 1975, and obtain other approvals and clearances as necessary from the relevant authorities, e.g. planning approval for onshore terminals. It would not be appropriate for me to pre-judge the application of these procedures. Obviously I am well seized of the environmental sensitivities surrounding these areas and in any licence award I will be imposing strict conditions on the licensees. Any development plan for such areas must also be accompanied by a satisfactory environmental impact assessment.