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Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, Clause 10 requires the countryside bodies to conduct a review of their maps of open country and registered common land no more than 10 years after they were issued or last reviewed. However, there are two factors that may cause the bodies to conduct a review sooner or later than that.

First, the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales may use their powers under subsection (3) to require reviews either more or less frequently than every 10 years. Secondly, the countryside body need not wait 10 years, or whatever duration is specified in regulations, before embarking on a review. It may conduct a review sooner if it thinks that there would be benefit in doing so.

Amendments Nos. 65 and 67 would require the first and subsequent reviews to take place every year. That would amount to a requirement for an almost continuous review. That would give rise to a highly unsatisfactory situation, with the countryside bodies engaged in a constant cycle of consultation and appeals on maps. The maps would convey no certainty for the user or landowner, because they would be out of date almost as soon as they were published. Given all the consultation and appeals, annual reviews of the maps would be very costly.

The Bill affords the countryside bodies discretion to review maps more frequently if they see fit, subject to reserve powers for the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales to intervene to set a different minimum period for reviews. The amendments would cause both users and landowners to be constantly considering with the countryside bodies the status of land included, or not included, in maps of open country.

There has been a fundamental misunderstanding in many of our debates on maps. We fully expect the countryside bodies to provide up-to-date information of the kind envisaged by the noble Lord, Lord Rotherwick, but that is not the purpose of the statutory maps. We have referred to that several times. The maps will show areas of land. They will not provide the detail and up-to-date information that the noble Lord expects and that the Government are providing for through the responsibilities given to the countryside bodies. I therefore hope that the noble Lord will understand that we cannot support the amendments.

Lord Rotherwick: My Lords, I thank the Minister for her explanation, but I am disappointed. I view the maps as a means of giving the state of play at that time. If there is no device to enable people to determine the state of play, there will be more conflicts and difficulties.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, I stress that up-to-date information must be available, but the maps are not the means of doing so.

Lord Rotherwick: My Lords, I am sorry that the Minister misunderstood me. My amendments were based on how the aviation world works, where half-mil

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maps are used very successfully for that purpose. It is easier to put information on the much larger scale maps that one would tend to use when going into the countryside. I was hoping that maps could be used in that way.

Amendments Nos. 66 and 68 relate to the same issue. I shall not press this amendment, but it is important that information should be disseminated to the public, including maps showing the up-to-date situation. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Luke moved Amendment No. 66:

    Page 6, line 31, leave out ("ten") and insert ("five").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 66, I wish to speak also to Amendment No. 68. To a certain extent, Amendment No. 66 follows the previous two amendments. I have taken considerable note of what my noble friend Lord Rotherwick and the Minister said. This matter was raised in Committee and I have read what the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh, said on that occasion.

However, I believe the fact that the Bill is very complicated suggests that 10 years is too long. If the first tranche of maps is completed and then nothing is reviewed for 10 years, that predicates the possibility that everything will be right the first time. I suggest that it is quite likely that everything will not be right the first time.

Whereas, for various reasons, one year may be too short, I suggest that five years would be a good compromise. That is what Amendment No. 66 seeks for the first review and what Amendment No. 68 seeks for subsequent reviews. I believe that it is essential that the period should be reduced to five years for the first review, and I should like to hear what the Minister says about that. I beg to move.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, as the noble Lord, Lord Luke, said, Amendments Nos. 66 and 68 propose that the reviews of maps proposed under Clause 10 should take place every five years rather than every 10.

We have given the matter careful consideration but, on balance, believe that 10 years is appropriate. We wish to promote a period of stability after the right comes into effect and we do not envisage that so many changes in land use will occur as to warrant a review within five years. We are confident that the very careful work which will be put into the initial set of maps will enable them to provide for a good number of years a solid foundation for the new right of access .

However, should it be necessary, the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales will be able to change the period for reviews and make them more frequent. Therefore, I hope that the noble Lord will feel that it is not necessary to press the amendment.

Lord Luke: My Lords, I am not altogether happy with what the Minister said. However, in view of the

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lateness of the hour, we shall consider the matter and possibly return with it at a later stage. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 67 to 69 not moved.]

Lord Glentoran moved Amendment No. 70:

    After Clause 10, insert the following new clause--


(" .--(1) The appropriate countryside body shall prepare "access land information maps" and shall issue these at the same time as any maps issued in draft form under section 5.
(2) The access information maps shall, in relation to any area of land mapped under section 4--
(a) show the possible location of any means of access to the land within the meaning of section 32 of this Act,
(b) show the possible location of any notices which might be provided under section 19,
(c) show whether areas of land mapped under section 4 are, or are not, accessible from any highway and distinguish between such areas where both occur on the same map,
(d) in relation to any registered common land which is included on the map prepared under section 4, indicate whether any such land is--
(i) common land within the meaning of section 193(1) of the Law of Property Act 1925;
(ii) common land within the meaning of section 193(2) of the Law of Property Act 1925; or
(iii) any other registered common land,
and where common land of more than one type occurs on the same map, the access information map shall distinguish between them,
(e) show any areas of land which are, in the view of the appropriate countryside body, excepted land within the meaning of Schedule 1,
(f) show any areas of land which may, in the view of the appropriate countryside body, need to be subject to directions under section 23(1)(b) for the purpose of avoiding danger to the public.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 70 concerns a duty to prepare maps showing additional information alongside draft maps of access land. The noble Baroness appeared to highlight that a misunderstanding about the maps exists between the two sides of the House. If I understood her correctly, I am very disappointed. If the maps are simply to be plain, statutory ordnance survey maps which show nothing more or less than areas of ground which are access land, I believe that that is a terrible waste of effort.

I believe, and it would appear that the Government have resisted this so far, that including additional information on the draft maps could be helpful to all interests in assessing the implications of the designation of access land. The implications could include the need to provide new access points and notices to indicate the boundary of access land or to provide information to the public of closures and so on; to establish new rights of way to link parcels of access land to the highway network; to provide warden services or to ensure clarity between common land covered by the Act and other common land.

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A suggested solution is for the Countryside Agency and the Countryside Council for Wales to provide maps alongside the draft maps of access land that show all that information. That will enable the implications of the new right of access to be considered at as early a stage in the process as possible. The maps will be immensely useful to all interests in deciding what implications follow from the provision of access.

I go further. If that work is done--if that form of mapping is put together--it will be the most superb creation that those of us who enjoy the countryside and wander into the wildernesses, such as they are in this country, could have--modern up-to-date maps using the latest techniques, showing all the needs a walker or long-distance hiker requires. To fail to do that on the back of this Bill and the right that is being given to the people of this country would be a serious disappointment. I beg to move.

1.15 a.m.

Lord Rotherwick: My Lords, I shall bring forward Amendment No. 138 later on this subject. So I will not say too much at this time. I agree with my noble friend that if the maps do not show a range of additional information there will be a good opportunity lost. In my experience, when one has civil aviation maps enabling a pilot to enter an aeroplane with just a map giving sufficient information for all his flights, I cannot see why it cannot occur on the land.

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