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Nature Reserves: West Sussex

Volume 475: debated on Monday 12 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the plans of Natural England and the Environment Agency to flood areas of Medmerry; and if he will make a statement. (204980)

Natural England has no powers to decide flood defence policy. The Environment Agency has not published any plans to flood areas of land behind the Medmerry coastline. The draft Pagham to East Head Coastal Defence Strategy will make an assessment of the impacts of all options in accordance with DEFRA guidance. The options will include changes to land use as a result of managed realignment of the coastline. The draft strategy is due to be issued for public consultation at the end of May.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the financial value of the palaeontological remains in the on-shore cliffs at the Medmerry frontage. (204981)

There have been a number of attempts to put a financial value on wildlife assets, all of which have encountered problems. To date, as far as we are aware, no one has attempted to do this for palaeontological assets generally, let alone for those present at the Medmerry frontage.