asked the Minister of Agriculture for an assurance that any project involving the loss of productive farm land to the extent of 20 acres or more will in the first instance be considered by him with the advice of the land Commissioner and the county agricultural executive committee.
Proposals to acquire agricultural land for other purposes are referred to my Department locally or at headquarters. My Land Commissioners may clear the proposals themselves, with or without conditions, if they are satisfied that that is the right course, or may refer the case to me. C.A.E.C.'s should be consulted on all major problems.
asked the Minister of Agriculture how many acres of farmlands have been lost to building construction, opencast, iron-ore, coal and other mineral working and to sundry other causes during 12 months ended on the latest convenient date; and what steps he is taking to curtail this process of eroding the acreage of productive farmlands in the United Kingdom.
The total area of crops and grass and rough grazings in sole occupation in England and Wales in the June, 1951, agricultural returns was 9,500 acres less than the area a year earlier. No precise information is available of the acreage of farmland used for each form of development.My Department is consulted on all proposals to use agricultural land for other purposes. This procedure ensures so far as practicable that no good farm land is lost to food production where it can reasonably be avoided.
asked the Minister of Agriculture what consultations are to take place after 1st April, 1952, between the National Coal Board and his Department, prior to granting of clearance certificates for opencast mining of productive farmlands.
After 1st April, 1952, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power will continue to be responsible for consulting me before agricultural land is entered for prospecting or is requisitioned by him for opencast coal working.