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Planning

Volume 931: debated on Tuesday 3 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy towards the Environmental Impact Analysis Report recently prepared for his Department; and if he will make a statement.

The report raises wide issues affecting not only the evaluation of proposals for development but also the availability of specialised skills and the deployment of manpower resources in local government. It was published without commitment as a discussion document on which the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales and I would welcome views.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) to what extent he considers an environmental impact analysis would contribute to the efficacy of planning; and what deductions he has made from a study of United States experience;(2) to what extent he considers that an environmental impact analysis would lengthen the time of the planning process; and whether he accepts the report's criteria about the type of projects that should be submitted for this procedure.

These are topics discussed in the Thirlwall/Catlow Report on which I have invited views. I shall announce my conclusions on them and on the recommendations in the report having regard to the comments I receive.