§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what estimates she has made of the cost to(a) public funds 478W and (b) land managers of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Uncultivated Land and Semi-Natural Areas) (England) Regulations 2001; 
(2) what consultations were undertaken, with whom, prior to the laying before Parliament of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Uncultivated Land and Semi-Natural Areas) (England) Regulations 2001. 
§ Margaret Beckett
[holding answer 14 January 2002]: The cost to public funds and land managers cannot be estimated accurately without knowing in advance the number of projects subject to EIA. As part of the Regulatory Impact Assessment, it was estimated that the cost to DEFRA might be in the region of £0.1 to £0.2 million per annum. Costs to land managers will vary depending on the nature, size and potential impacts of the project and whether any changes need to be made in the light of the assessment. As an illustration it was calculated that the costs arising from 100 projects subject to an application, of which 10 led to preparation of an Environmental Statement prepared by a consultant, could be around £20,000 to £28,000.
Two formal consultations were carried out in 2001; the first in May on the options for implementation elicited 42 responses; the second in September, with detailed proposals, received 32 responses. Respondents included statutory agencies (English Nature, English Heritage, Environment Agency and Countryside Agency) and bodies representing environmental and historic interests and the farming industry.