New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: The hon. Gentleman [Tom Greatrex] is being very courteous in giving way, but may I appeal to him, on behalf of my constituents, to try to leave these procedural matters behind and deal with the substantive issues about which they and other Members’ constituents are concerned?

[Tom Greatrex: The hon. Gentleman is usually a stickler for procedure. This is about scrutiny of the Bill, and we need to have confidence in the way in which that scrutiny takes place. I think that it ill behoves the House to become involved in a situation such as the one that we have experienced during the last few minutes.]

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Dr Lewis: Will the Minister reassure my constituents in public, as the Minister of State, Department for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Holland and The Deepings (John Hayes), has tried to do for me in private, that given a proposal such as the massive port development at Dibden Bay, on the edge of the New Forest, which was stopped by a year-long public inquiry, the Forest would be no less protected as a result of the Bill?

[The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Stephen Williams): I can repeat the reassurance –  because he has just given it to me – that my right hon. Friend the Minister gave to my hon. Friend: the Bill will provide no less protection than currently exists in the planning system.]