Purposes of National Parks

Part of Clause 60 – in the House of Commons at 7:45 pm on 28th June 1995.

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Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble 7:45 pm, 28th June 1995

There is no confusion. Many people believe that "quiet" means what they think that it means——to keep noise down——and that the enjoyment of national parks means cutting down noise in one form or another. Enough people were worried about that for me to need to consider carefully whether the amendment that I was then proposing in Committee would solve the problem.

I remind Opposition Members——I am sure that Conservative Members do not need reminding——that a Law Lord said, following the passing of the amendment adding "quiet" to "enjoyment", that that was bad law, that it was capable of misinterpretation or many interpretations and that an amendment was required to define what "quiet" meant. We tried. We considered it carefully, and my officials and Parliamentary Counsel struggled to find ways and means whereby we could assuage the anxieties that were expressed to me by a variety of organisations as well as Conservative colleagues in the House and in another place.

In those circumstances, we tried extremely hard and, before Report, I considered several variations on many amendments. We even nearly reached the stage of tabling one, hut grave anxieties continued to be expressed to me by the motor sports industry. Indeed, my right hon. Friend the Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale came to visit me. He wears many hats, one of which is his love of motor sports, as well as representing one national park and living in another.