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River Thames: Environment Protection

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to ensure that the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) Delivery Plan prevents irreversible damage to the SPA and the habitat of the woodlark, nightjar and Dartford warbler. (124445)

[holding answer 5 March 2007]: The Government office for the South East continues to work in partnership with Communities and Local Government, Defra, Natural England and the South East England Regional Assembly to develop a strategic approach to the required housing delivery around the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area, whilst ensuring that the site is appropriately protected from future impacts in accordance with the habitats directive.

The draft Thames Basin Heaths Delivery Plan is currently being considered as part of the Examination in Public (EiP) of the South East Regional Spatial Strategy. The assessor appointed to examine this draft Delivery Plan published his report to the EiP Panel on 19 February 2007. This report will be debated further on 22 March 2007 at an EiP session.