asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many acres of wet land or marshland have been converted to arable land in each of the past 10 years in the Norfolk Broads area; and whether it is the Government's intention to continue to encourage this drainage.
I regret that this information is not available. The Government intend to continue paying grants towards the cost of drainage work subject to the statutory obligation to have regard to the interests of conservation and amenity.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the average increase in value per acre at current prices, as a consequence of conversion from wetland, or marshland, to arable land in the Norfolk Broads area.
I regret that this information is not available.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what grants are currently paid to farmers to drain land in the area of the Norfolk Broads; and if he will indicate how much has been paid out by his Department in each of the last 10 years.
The standard rates of grant for field drainage which are currently available under the farm capital grant scheme and the farm and horticulture development scheme are 37½ per cent. and 50 per cent. respectively. Information about the amounts of grant paid in any year for field drainage in the area of the Norfolk Broads is not separately kept and could not be provided except at disproportionate cost.