§ Mr. Alasdair Morgan
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to publish a revised version of planning document NPPG4: Land for Mineral Working. 
§ Mr. Macdonald
Draft revised guidance on the new planning policy for opencast coal and related minerals working in Scotland was announced to the House on 22 October 1998,Official Report, columns 1165–66. The guidance sets out the most robust framework yet within which planning authorities must consider all proposals for opencast coal developments. Consultation on the guidance continues until 11 December with the intention of final guidance being in place early in the New Year. The guidance replaces paragraphs 74–78 of NPPG 4 on coal. As with all planning guidance the remainder of NPPG 4 is kept under review although there are no plans at present to update the non-coal aspects of the guidance.