§ Mr. Baker
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what progress he has made in determining the division of responsibilities for planning matters between(a) county and unitary councils, (b) district councils and (c) the proposed South Downs National Park. 
§ Ms Beverley Hughes
[holding answer 7 July 2000]: We have asked the Countryside Agency to look at the detailed arrangements for handling planning matters for the proposed new National Park in the South Downs. They have established a working group who are now examining options for the division of responsibilities between existing authorities and any new National Park Authority. The Agency will be consulting locally on these options before advising Ministers on what they consider to be the most appropriate arrangements.