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U-turn expected on forest sell-off.

Summary: The Government is expected to abandon controversial plans to sell off thousands of hectares of forest in England.

The Government is expected to abandon controversial plans to sell off thousands of hectares of forest in England.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman will announce on Friday that a consultation into the proposals is being halted.

Instead, a new panel of experts will reportedly be created to examine public access to the woodland and biodiversity issues.

David Cameron heralded the about-turn at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, when he stated bluntly that he was unhappy with the policy.

Selling more than 250,000 hectares run by the Forestry Commission was intended to give the private sector, communities and charities greater involvement in woodland.

But the suggestion has attracted cross-party opposition and sparked a public outcry.

Critics argued it threatened public access and could lead to forests being damaged.

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Feb 17, 2011
Words:170
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