Agricultural and Horticultural Holdings (Planning Permissions)

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th November 1967.

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Photo of Mr Walter Loveys Mr Walter Loveys , Chichester 12:00 am, 29th November 1967

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will now revise his present policy concerning support by his Department to planning applications on agricultural and horticultural holdings, so as to give a clear indication of support when he considers the proposals are of benefit to the industry.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I believe that a change of policy is desirable. However this is a complex matter and my consultations are not yet complete. I share the desire of the hon. Member for an early solution.

Photo of Mr Walter Loveys Mr Walter Loveys , Chichester

I thank the Minister for once again expressing his concern about this matter. May I ask whether we can have something rather more definite, as many local farmers misunderstand the general position, which is being unhelpful to the agricultural industry?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I shall be in touch with the hon. Gentleman as soon as possible, and inform him directly.

Photo of Mr Walter Loveys Mr Walter Loveys , Chichester

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied that comments and advice given by his Department to local authorities concerning planning applications on agricultural and horticultural holdings are submitted by suitably qualified officers; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr John Mackie Mr John Mackie , Enfield East

Yes, Sir. Advice to local planning authorities is given only by professionally qualified officers of the Agricultural Land Service.

Photo of Mr Walter Loveys Mr Walter Loveys , Chichester

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that specialist horticulturists are expressing concern about comments coming from the Agricultural Land Service, because they feel that the most qualified officers in the specialist field are the horticultural officers of the N.A.S.? Will the hon. Gentleman give this special consideration?

Photo of Mr John Mackie Mr John Mackie , Enfield East

I appreciate that it is very difficult for everybody to be specialists in all the details of horticulture, and we are looking at this, along with the other points mentioned by my right hon. Friend.