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Agricultural Land

Volume 175: debated on Thursday 28 June 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to protect agricultural land.

I assume the hon. Member is referring to development involving agricultural land. Responsibility for day-to-day planning control, including the consideration and determination of applications for planning permission, rests with the appropriate planning authority in the first instance. The Government issue guidance to local authorities on development involving agricultural land, which is contained in Department of the Environment (Welsh Office) circular 16/87 (25/87) issued on 8 May 1987. Copies of the circular are available in the Library of the House.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will take steps to release more agricultural land for purposes other than agriculture.

The use of land for most purposes other than agriculture is controlled by the town and country planning system. Responsibility for day-to-day planning matters, including proposals for development involving agricultural land, rests with local planning authorities in the first instance. Other non-agricultural uses of land are a matter for individual landowners' decision.