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Smallholdings, Norfolk

Volume 466: debated on Thursday 7 July 1949

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asked the Minister of Agriculture what plans he has in hand to assist the Norfolk County Council to create additional smallholdings at Ludham airfield, Norfolk; what is delaying the start of the scheme, and if he will take all appropriate measures to overcome the present hold-up.

I agreed last year, after consulting my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Air, that Ludham airfield should be purchased by the State in accordance with the Government's policy for acquiring surplus runwayed airfields, and that it should be made available to the Norfolk County Council for development as smallholdings. Eleven separate owners are involved and negotiations for the purchase of their land by the Air Ministry are proceeding as quickly as possible. I cannot lease the land to the County Council until the negotiations are completed. However, as a large part of the airfield surface was owned before the war by the Norfolk County Council and developed by them as smallholdings, I am prepared to discuss with them now the re-development of that land for smallholdings in advance of the acquisition of the remainder of the site.