asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Lord Chancellor has been requested to nominate an inspector for the public inquiry into stage I of the North Devon link road; whether the Lord Chancellor has yet made such a nomination; and when he expects to announce the date of the public inquiry into stage II.
The Lord Chancellor's office has just been asked to nominate an inspector but it is too early for a nomination to have been made.A public inquiry into the stage II proposals will not be arranged until after the statutory orders have been published in draft and objections to them considered by my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Transport and for the Environment.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is causing the delay in announcing his Department's preferred route of the alternatives indicated by his Department many months ago for stage II of the North Devon link road; and whether he will announce the preferred route well before the public inquiry into stage I.
The preferred route for stage II is expected to be announced after the decision on stage I following public inquiry. The inquiry will not consider the merits of specific alternative routes for stage II. This timing was decided to allow discussion of stage I in the context of the link road as a whole to proceed uncluttered by the detail of particular routes for stage II. However, it is now clear that in any case the practicalities inherent in a full analysis of the results of public consultation and selection of a preferred route almost certainly preclude an announcement before autumn 1979.