To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many decisions he has made about historic covenants in respect of planning appeals during the last 12 months;(2) if he will make a statement about his current policy on historic covenants, with particular reference to their relevance in planning appeals.
I assume that my hon. Friend's questions relate to agreements which were made under section 34 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1932 and restrict the planning, development or use of land. Applications may be made to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State under paragraph 88(3) of schedule 24 to the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 for the discharge or modification of restrictions imposed by an agreement under section 34 of the 1932 Act. Such an application may sometimes be required before development which has been granted planning permission on appeal or otherwise can be started. Applications are considered on their individual merits. Only one application under the paragraph has been determined during the last 12 months.