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17 Oct 1995 : Column WA91

Written Answers

Tuesday, 17th October 1995.

Transfer of Land: Law Commission Recommendations

Lord Brabazon of Tara asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they plan to implement recommendations in the Law Commission's report on Transfer of Land—Obsolete Restrictive Covenants (Law Com. No 201).

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern): Due to concerns about the potential costs to the public of using the scheme recommended by the Law Commission, and following careful consideration of representations from the public in this regard, it is not the Government's intention to implement the commission's recommendations. However, the matter will be kept under review following implementation of the commission's recommendations in Law Com. No. 127 for a scheme of land obligations.

Sustainable Development: Select Committee Report

Lord Norrie asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How they are responding to the House of Lords Select Committee Report on Sustainable Development published on 18 July.

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Earl Ferrers): The Government published their response to the Lords Select Committee Report on Sustainable Development on 12 October. We did so in order that the House should have ample

17 Oct 1995 : Column WA92

opportunity to consider it before the report is debated on 26 October. Copies of the responses have been formally laid before the House and placed in the House Library.

Environmental Impact of Leisure Activities: Response to Report

Lord Brougham and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the response to the House of Commons Environment Select Committee's report on the Environmental Impact of Leisure Activities will be published.

Earl Ferrers: Our response is being published today, as a supplementary memorandum to the committee's report on the Environmental Impact of Leisure Activities.

We welcome the committee's report, and we are pleased to note the general thrust of the committee's findings. We share its view that there is no evidence that tourism and leisure pose a serious, immediate or intrinsic threat to the environment. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the need for effective management to take account of potential impacts. These impacts are most likely to be felt and be best resolved at the local level, taking account both of the diversity of the countryside and the knowledge and experience of local communities.

We strongly agree with the committee that the economic benefits which tourism and leisure can bring to rural areas should be more widely recognised. We also welcome the committee's endorsement of the principles of "Green Tourism" and their contribution towards securing a sustainable tourism industry.

We have addressed many of these issues in the context of the Rural White Paper, which acknowledges the distinctive nature of the countryside, its value to the nation, and the importance of vibrant local communities.

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