HC Deb 18 January 1996 vol 269 cc716-7W
Mr. William Ross

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what review he has carried out into the boundaries of areas of outstanding natural beauty in Northern Ireland; and when he expects to publish the results. [9123]

Mr. Moss

The Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland has been reviewing the boundaries of areas of outstanding natural beauty since the introduction of the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. This legislation gives AONBs a broader conservation objective than the Amenity Lands Act (Northern Ireland) 1965 under which nine AONBs were originally designated.

To date four AONBs have been reviewed and redesignated under the new legislation. In each case there has been extensive public consultation both on the boundaries and on Government policies and proposals for each area. Presently a review of the Strangford Lough AONB is underway and the Department has commissioned a landscape assessment prior to commencing a review of the Sperrin and North Derry AONBs.