HC Deb 20 May 2003 vol 405 c688W
Mr. Peter Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost of mapping open countryside and registered common land under the provisions of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 has been; what the estimated cost of completing the mapping process is; and if she will make a statement. [113847]

Alun Michael

By the end of March the Countryside Agency had spent £13.5 million on implementing part 1 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, mostly on mapping open countryside and registered common land. The figure includes payments to the contractors, Black and Veatch; consultation and dissemination of information on the mapping process; and the Agency's staff and running costs. A further £1.5 million has been spent by the Planning Inspectorate to deal with appeals against the inclusion of land on the provisional maps of open country and registered common land.

The scale, and therefore the cost, of the remainder of the mapping project will depend on the volume of comments made to the Agency on the three further draft maps and on the number of appeals on the six provisional maps still to be issued.

The Agency has developed a predictive model to help it plan and manage the mapping work, and it will review the assumptions in this model regularly, in the light of experience in successive mapping areas. The Government and the Agency will work closely together to ensure the completion of the mapping project to timetable.