HC Deb 10 June 1998 vol 313 c579W
Mr. Prior

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps his Department is taking to protect areas of outstanding natural beauty from overdevelopment; and if he will make a statement. [44478]

Mr. Raynsford

Planning Policy Guidance note 7 affords special protection from development to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, along with other statutorily designated areas. Policies in structure and local plans and development control decisions should in general favour conservation of the natural beauty of the landscape. It would normally be inconsistent with the aims of designation to permit the siting of major industrial or commercial development in these areas. Only proven national interest and lack of alternative sites can justify an exception.