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The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern): Due to concerns about the potential costs to the public of using the scheme recommended by the Law Commission, and following careful consideration of representations from the public in this regard, it is not the Government's intention to implement the commission's recommendations. However, the matter will be kept under review following implementation of the commission's recommendations in Law Com. No. 127 for a scheme of land obligations.
The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Earl Ferrers): The Government published their response to the Lords Select Committee Report on Sustainable Development on 12 October. We did so in order that the House should have ample
We welcome the committee's report, and we are pleased to note the general thrust of the committee's findings. We share its view that there is no evidence that tourism and leisure pose a serious, immediate or intrinsic threat to the environment. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the need for effective management to take account of potential impacts. These impacts are most likely to be felt and be best resolved at the local level, taking account both of the diversity of the countryside and the knowledge and experience of local communities.
We strongly agree with the committee that the economic benefits which tourism and leisure can bring to rural areas should be more widely recognised. We also welcome the committee's endorsement of the principles of "Green Tourism" and their contribution towards securing a sustainable tourism industry.
We have addressed many of these issues in the context of the Rural White Paper, which acknowledges the distinctive nature of the countryside, its value to the nation, and the importance of vibrant local communities.
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