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Requisitioned Land, Plymouth

Volume 441: debated on Tuesday 29 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for War to what purpose the land surrounding Agaton Fort, Plymouth, in the ownership of his Department and amounting to 12½ acres, is being used; if he is aware that the city council has for the past 18 months been trying, with the support of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, to come to an arrangement about its future use, and that the delay of his Department is holding up the building of some 100 houses; and if he will expedite its release.

This land is let for grazing. I am aware that the Plymouth city council wish to acquire it, but I regret that I cannot agree to make it available, as it will most probably be required for War Department buildings.

Is the Secretary of State aware that this fort was built for defence in the Napoleonic wars, that it was never used then because the enemy did not come that way, that it is not being used now, and that it would be much better used for housing purposes? Will he please show a little common sense in regard to its use?

I can certainly give the assurance asked for in the last part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question.

I would remind my hon. Friend that the Question deals, not with the fort, but with the land surrounding it, where we may want to build houses for soldiers.

Does not that answer make the original answer even more imbecile?