HC Deb 08 December 1994 vol 251 c352W
Mr. Mackinlay

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what responsibilities his Department has to protect habitats, flora and fauna within the flood plains of the Greater Thames estuary.

Mr. Waldegrave

As Minister, I have a duty under the Agriculture Act 1986 to balance the interests of conservation with agricultural efficiency, the socio-economic interests of rural areas and public enjoyment of the countryside. In carrying out my flood defence responsibilities, I am subject to the provisions of the Land Drainage Act 1991, as amended, and the Water Resources Act 1991 so far as the furtherance of conservation is concerned. Finally, I am also bound by the Conservation (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1994 to comply with the requirements of the EC habitats and birds directives.