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Service Land Requirements

Volume 441: debated on Tuesday 29 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning what is the acreage of land at present held by Service Departments within each of the 12 national parks proposed by the Hobhouse Committee; and whether paragraphs 151 to 154 of this report and the recommendations based thereon have been brought to the attention of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Service Land Requirements.

On the basis of the latest available information, the approximate acreages held by the Service Departments for training and other purposes are as follow:

Roman WallNil
Lake District700
Yorkshire Dales9,800
North York27,500
Peak DistrictNil
North Wales9,500
Pembrokeshire coast26,000
Brecon Beacons47,500
South DownsNil
Norfolk BroadsNil
The position is constantly changing.


asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning why he gave notice of the recent public inquiry into the proposed Dartmoor training areas by an advertisement published only in "The Times" and in the "Western Morning News," Plymouth, and published on 27th June only, with only two clear weeks for giving written notices of objection why he made no publication in the weekly local papers which are so much read by farmers and those holding common rights; why no effort was made to notify some 1,100 commoners, holding rights on Dartmoor, of the degree to which such rights might be endangered; why the plan deposited for public inspection revealed certain only of the Services' claims, others being brought up after the inquiry had opened; and whether the procedure preliminary to this inquiry forms the precedent on which he will conduct other public inquiries into training areas.

Notice of this inquiry was published not only in the papers mentioned but in three other local papers on 27th June. Publication in one day's issue accords with recent statutory require- ments. Copies of the notice were sent on 26th June to the Town Clerks of Plymouth and Exeter, to the Clerks to the Plympton St. Mary, Tavistock and the Okehampton R.D.C.s and in addition to the Council for the Preservation of Rural England and the Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society. Notices were also sent by the Devon C.C. to the Clerks to the Parish Councils in the part of Dartmoor affected, with the request that they should be placed in prominent positions on the boards on which such notices are usually exhibited. I was not considered necessary to serve individual notices of the inquiry on persons having rights of common or other rights in the area affected by the War Department proposals in view of the fact that the object of the inquiry was to hear representations as to the effect of the proposals on the public interest and not their effect on individuals. The plan deposited for public inspection showed the proposals to which this particular inquiry was limited, but, as then explained, full opportunity will be given for representations to be made on other requirements of the Service Departments. The procedure with regard to other public local inquiries for training areas will be reviewed in the light of the experience in this case and, in particular, longer notice of the inquiry will be given and an endeavour will be made to give still wider publicity.