Supplementary Notes to Questions by the
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
RURAL WHITE PAPER
In addition to the correction marked on the
text, we wish to submit a footnote to clarify Question 25, as
"a billion pounds over the next
three years" appears to be a reference to page 6 of the Rural
White Paper (Ten ways we will make a difference), which refers
to rural programmes (other than agriculture and England Rural
Development Programme) and not just roads. Taking all the rural
programmes referred to in the White Paper, including agriculture
and ERDP there will be an increased allocation of over
£1 billion over the next three years.
To avoid misunderstanding of the position, we
would also like to provide supplementary information on the powers
of local authorities in relation local sourcing of products by
supermarkes (Questions 68-70), as follows:
Central Government and local authorities
need to ensure that they act in compliance with Article 28 of
the European Treaty on the free movement of goods.
The planning system is about the development
and use of land and the sourcing of supermarkets is not normally
a material planning consideration. However, there may be circumstances
in which sourcing could be a material planning consideration,
such as where it could be demonstrated that the impact of a new
supermarket would result in a significant reduction in local purchasing,
which in turn would result in material harm to the local economy.
(For example, in a market town where local food shops currently
source their stock locally, a significant reduction in local purchasing
as a result of a new supermarket opening and local food stores
reducing their purchasing or going out of business, could have
an adverse effect on the local economy.) In such circumstances
this might be a material consideration and,if so, would be taken
into account in making the decision.
It is also open to local authorities
to adopt planning policies which seek to mitigate the consequences
of a new supermarket for the local economy and environment. They
could, for example, adopt a policy to negotiate to require the
supermarket to provide space for a local farmers market.
Finally, if would be helpful to add a footnote
to the reply to question 64 to make clear that "we"
in the first line means "I and the Minister of Agriculture".
22 December 2000