§ Mr. McMaster
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the specific powers and duties of(a) strategic planning authorities, (b) local planning authorities, (c) environmental health authorities, (d) Her Majesty's inspector of pollution and (e) other public bodies in relation to control of blasting and operational activities at quarries in Scotland; what plans he has to seek additional powers for any of these bodies; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Stewart
Planning authorities in Scotland—regional, islands and district councils—have powers under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972 to grant planning permission in respect of, inter alia, quarrying proposals: in so doing, they may impose conditions restricting operational practices including, for example, times of blasting, suppression of noise, dust and so on.
Environmental health authorities in Scotland—islands and district councils—have general powers under part III of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and section 16 of the Public Health (Scotland) Act 1897 to control noise nuisance. They also have powers under part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to control dust and other emissions to the atmosphere.
Her Majesty's industrial pollution inspectorate has no specific powers or duties in relation to blasting or other operational activities at quarries in Scotland. The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for making arrangements for the enforcement of health and safety legislation at quarries in Scotland. Its powers and duties are set out in the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 and other relevant statutory provisions.
My right hon. Friend is satisfied that the powers available to these bodies are sufficient, and has no plans, at present, to seek to add to them.