Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Dairy Industry

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): Applying the methodology utilised for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's producer support estimate (PSE), we estimate that in 2000 (the latest year for which figures are available), the annual monetary value of gross transfer at the farm gate through prices higher than world level applied to the dairy industry in the UK was approximately 1.3 billion dollars. This amounts to around 1.60 dollars per dairy cow per day.


Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: All the plywood used in the UK is imported, mainly because we do not produce logs of the size and quality required for efficient peeling and

17 Jul 2003 : Column WA182

processing. However, some UK-grown veneers, sliced rather than peeled, are used in other products. It is unlikely that competitive plywoods will be produced in the UK to provide an outlet for our timber.

The UK does, however, have a mill near Inverness which produces oriented strand board. This product is made from pressing layers of flakes of pine and is widely used as an alternative to plywood in many construction markets.

Wooden Flooring: Home-grown Timber

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether greater use could be made of home-grown timber in the production of wooden flooring; and, if so, what action they will take.[HL3888]

Lord Whitty: The Government believe that greater use could be made of home-grown timber in flooring. However, home-grown solid wood flooring has to compete against laminate flooring and timber available on the international market, which can be obtained at relatively low cost.

The Forestry Commission (FC) supports many woodland initiatives throughout the country where local processing is often an objective. Hardwood flooring made and sold locally as a niche market can be successful. The FC has funded market studies and is currently funding the development of a hardwood appearance grading guide which could help producers of small and larger-scale sawmills market their timber to specifiers.

The Wood for Good campaign, supported by the FC and the UK forestry industry, is promoting exposed softwood flooring. The FC is supporting research to test wood hardening techniques on UK species. If successful, this could make them more suitable for exposed floors.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Lord Livsey of Talgarth asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What specific production is given to areas of outstanding natural beauty to prevent leisure developments from proceeding; and[HL3961]

    Which bodies are responsible for protecting the special nature of areas of outstanding natural beauty in (a) England and (b) Wales; and[HL3962]

    What planning processes would apply to the development of a new motor racing circuit within an area of outstanding natural beauty.[HL3963]

Lord Whitty: Areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) together with National Parks are recognised as our finest landscapes. They are given specific protection both in countryside legislation and in the planning system. For example, under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, all public bodies in both England and Wales must have regard to the purpose

17 Jul 2003 : Column WA183

of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of an AONB when exercising or performing any function in relation to, or so as to affect, land in that area.

Defra is responsible for AONBs in England, where the Countryside Agency acts as our advisor. AONBs in Wales are the responsibility of the National Assembly for Wales.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is responsible for planning policies in England. These are

17 Jul 2003 : Column WA184

administered on a day-to-day basis by local planning authorities. Planning Policy Guidance Notes 7, 17 and 21, deal respectively with the status of AONBs in relation to the countryside generally, sport and recreation, and tourism. All make clear that the need to conserve the landscape must be taken into account when considering proposals for development.

The permanent development of a motor racing circuit would require specific planning permission for which application should be made to the local planning authority.

   Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page