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Fossil Fuels: Nature Conservation

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether the designation of Pen Llyn and Pembrokeshire marine areas as special areas of conservation is compatible with oil and gas development; and if he will make a statement. (189424)

[holding answer 27 February 2008]: Proposed licensing and any subsequent offshore activities in or near to these areas will be subject to the provisions of the habitats and wild birds directives. Wherever oil and gas development is likely to have a significant effect upon special areas of conservation such as Pen Llyn and Pembrokeshire, an environmental assessment under the habitats and wild birds directives will be carried out before any licences are awarded under the 25th licensing round; where relevant, an environmental assessment will also be carried out before oil and gas activities are consented to. I will have regard to the results of any such environmental assessment.