HC Deb 17 June 1997 vol 296 c146W
Mr. Colvin

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what the controlling authority will be of the proposed New Forest Heritage Area; [3143]

(2) when the New Forest Heritage Area boundaries will be formally approved; [3141]

(3) if he will make a statement on the statutory status of the New Forest Heritage Area. [3142]

Mr. Raynsford

The boundary of the New Heritage Forest has been delineated through the statutory local plan process and therefore has the force of section 54A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. I understand that the relevant local plans defining the Heritage Area have been adopted by the local planning authorities, but that the boundary in respect of two areas of land, in the Avon Valley and north of Totton, is being reviewed in the context of the emerging New Forest District Local Plan. For the purposes of the town and country planning legislation, the controlling authorities are the local planning authorities within whose administrative areas the Heritage Area lies. These authorities, together with other public bodies with particular responsibilities for the New Forest, are represented on the non-statutory New Forest Committee which has the purpose of assisting the co-ordination of their activities.

Since July 1994, the New Forest Heritage Area has been subject to the same national planning policies as would have applied had the area been designated a national park. These policies will have been reflected in development control decisions and statutory development plans made by the local planning authorities.