Cameron u-turn in Thetford Forest sell-off plan

Ministers are preparing to scrap controversial plans to sell thousands of acres of state-owned woodland, including Thetford Forest.

According to leaked reports, the current consultation is expected to be halted within days.

A new panel of experts will then be set up to look at public access and biodiversity within the public-owned woodland.

The proposal to offload 258,000 hectares run by the Forestry Commission have attracted cross-party criticism and a public outcry. The Friends of Thetford Forest Park (FOTP), as well as local MPs, had ratcheted up calls in recent months for the government to maintain access and listen to public opinion.

David Cameron had hinted on Wednesday he was backing away from the policy. Asked during Prime Minister's Questions whether he was happy with the plans, he said no.

It has also been reported the Public Bodies Bill, which allows for woodlands to be sold off, would now be amended.