HL Deb 15 July 2004 vol 663 c160WA
Lord Moynihan

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the initial budget for the mapping required to implement the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000; and what is the latest estimate of the costs of such mapping. [HL3711]

Lord Whitty:

Mapping is one of the Countryside Agency's responsibilities under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. The agency's estimate at the end of 2000 for its total costs in implementing the new right of access was £28 million over four years. At that stage, the regulations covering public consultation on the draft maps had not been framed, nor had decisions been taken about the regional commencement of the new right of access. In the event, publicity arrangements and the consultation exercise for the draft maps were much more extensive than originally envisaged. The agency received eight times its initial estimate of the number of public comments on the draft maps. This was welcome for the scrutiny it gave the draft maps, but had a major impact on the overall mapping costs.

To the end of May 2004 the Countryside Agency has spent £30.19 million consisting of £0.75 million in 1999–2000; £0.92 million in 2000–01; £5.17 million in 2001–02; £8.30 million in 2002–03; £13.25 million in 2003–04; and £1.8 million to date in 2004–05. The agency expects to spend a further £14.9 million in the current financial year, and estimates expenditure of £8.9 million in 2005–06. These costs include the agency's work on mapping, public consultation, the appeals process, restrictions and exclusions administration, communications and public information and salary costs.

Defra has also funded the Planning Inspectorate to deal with appeals against the inclusion of land on provisional maps and restriction appeals: £0.11 million in 2001–02; £0.84 million in 2002–03 and £1.20 million in 2003–04. The Planning Inspectorate expects to spend no more than £2 million in the current financial year.