HC Deb 28 November 2001 vol 375 cc1025-6W
Mr. Edward Davey

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will outline the policy of the Environment Agency with regard to(a) the provision of car parking on (i) land immediately adjacent to the river Thames and (ii) its own land immediately adjacent to the river Thames and (b) the leasing of its own land immediately adjacent to the river Thames. [17214]

Mr. Meacher

Local authorities are responsible for development control and policy related to car parking in their areas. In cases of new development, the Environment Agency, as a statutory consultee, has an opportunity to encourage best practice in environmental design. This includes proposals on land adjacent to the river Thames.

When considering a planning application, the agency would normally request a number of planning conditions, such as the retention of a buffer zone to allow access to flood defences for maintenance and inspection; the provision of public access rights to the riverside; and prevention of encroachment of the development on to the tidal foreshore.

These standards apply equally to development by the agency on its own land, including that adjacent to the Thames.

In cases of land leased by the agency to a third party, subject to the terms of the contract, use of the site would be a matter between the third party and the local planning authority. The agency would, if a planning application were made, be a statutory consultee in the normal way.