Forests: Development Leases

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th October 2018.

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Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Vice-Chair, Conservative Party 12:00 am, 18th October 2018

What assessment he has made of the adequacy of the provisions of the 125-year leases for developments between Forest Holidays and the Forestry Commission to protect the environment surrounding those developments.

Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

In response to concerns that have been raised about Forest Holidays, my Department has initiated a review of the governance and commercial arrangements for its management of its estate.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Vice-Chair, Conservative Party

Local people in Corby and East Northamptonshire feel strongly that Fineshade wood, which is stunning, tranquil and extremely well used, must be preserved for generations to come. Will my right hon. Friend agree to meet me, and representatives of the Friends of Fineshade, to discuss what can be done to ensure that Forest Holidays’ long-standing interest in the site finally comes to an end?

Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

My hon. Friend represents some of the most attractive woodland in the country. Not just Fineshade wood but Rockingham forest make Corby and East Northamptonshire a place of pilgrimage for many who want seclusion and peace in a rural environment. I should be delighted to meet his constituents, and I think that his concerns are very well placed.