asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has with regard to the arrangements for consulting his Department about proposals for the development of agricultural land.
The present arrangements for consulting the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on proposals to develop agricultural land not according with approved development or other plans rest on guidance to local planning authorities published jointly by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales. In view of the increasing importance of safeguarding good quality agricultural land these arrangements are to be strengthened. My right hon. Friends now intend to place such consultations on a statutory basis where significant areas of agricultural land are involved by means of an amendment to the Town and Country Planning General Development Orders.