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Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how his Department plans to assess the sustainability of large-scale wood biomass energy plants of 50 megawatts and over; and if he will take into account that assessment in the potential impact on UK wood processing industries of large biomass plants purchasing their feedstock from UK wood markets.
Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether (a) the effect on existing wood industries and (b) the sustainability of material is taken into account in deciding whether to grant planning permission for large-scale biomass energy projects of 50 megawatts and over.
Peter Atkinson: Before we begin, I shall draw the Committee’s attention to the normal procedure. First, would you make sure that your mobile phones are switched to silent? I shall check mine in a minute. There is a money resolution in connection with the Bill—copies are available in the room. Also, the formal warning about starred amendments: in general, my fellow Chairmen and I do not intend to...
Peter Atkinson: We will now hear oral evidence from the British Retail Consortium. I welcome Jane Milne and Tom Ironside to the Committee. Will they introduce themselves for the benefit of the record?
Peter Atkinson: I apologise to our two witnesses for that interruption. I am afraid that the fire alarm system in this building is not up to scratch. Unfortunately, because we work to a time frame set by the programme motion, the evidence session with you two ended at 12 noon. On behalf of the Committee, I thank you for coming here today and giving up your time. You are very welcome to add anything in...
Peter Atkinson: Good morning, Mr. Frost, and welcome to the Committee, it is very nice to see a fellow Northumbrian here. For the record, would you introduce yourself?
Peter Atkinson: Yes.
Peter Atkinson: Thank you, Mr. Frost. Is there anything you would like to add?
Peter Atkinson: Good afternoon and welcome. Thank you both for coming along. For the record, please identify yourselves in the normal way.
Peter Atkinson: Thank you. The first question is from Mr. Robert Neill.
Peter Atkinson: It will have to be quick.
Peter Atkinson: Order. Sorry to interrupt, Ms Dee, but the deadline has come, so that question will have to remain for ever unanswered. I thank you both for coming here this afternoon—we appreciate the contribution that you have made.
Peter Atkinson: Good afternoon Dr. Grail. Thank you for giving up your time and coming here this afternoon. To start with, for the benefit of the record, please can you introduce yourself?
Peter Atkinson: Thank you.
Peter Atkinson: Forgive me. There is a Division in the House so we have to adjourn the Committee. If Members could get back as quickly as possible that would be helpful. We do not have votes in this Committee, but as soon as we are quorate and the relevant people are here—me—we can start again.
Peter Atkinson: We are now quorate, so we can continue. Can you remember what you were going to say, Dr. Grail?
Peter Atkinson: Excellent.
Peter Atkinson: On that point, Dr. Grail, we have reached the end of this session. Thank you very much for coming along, and for your informative contribution to our debate.
Peter Atkinson: Good afternoon and thank you for coming along. We have until 6.15 for this session. Could you please identify yourself for the record?
Peter Atkinson: Thank you. Nick Raynsford.