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Training Grounds (Agricultural Areas)

Volume 411: debated on Tuesday 29 May 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can now make a statement about agricultural areas taken over for military training purposes as a war measure; and whether the Claims Commission can now be authorised to make good damage, gaps in hedges and fences, etc., as previously promised, so that farmers can proceed with their business.

As my answer is rather long, I will, with permission, circulate it in the Official Report.

Following is the answer:

All land taken over for military training purposes which is not being used, or which it is clear will not shortly be used for such purposes, is being relinquished, with the exception of training areas on which there is unexploded ammunition. This process has been going on since 6th June, 1944, and over four million acres of training areas have been returned to their original use. Where areas cannot be entirely relinquished the training has whenever possible been considerably lightened, so that there will be the least interference with cultivation.

Repair parties have worked in all the larger training areas and for all major exercises they carry out temporary repairs to fences, hedges, etc., damaged in the course of troop training in order to enable farmers to proceed with their normal farming business. Permanent repairs are not normally carried out by the War Department but compensation is paid.