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Requisitioned Properties

Volume 529: debated on Wednesday 7 July 1954

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air how many properties are still held under requisition by his Department; if he will order a new investigation into the circumstances of each case; and if he will direct that prior consideration be given to the original owner, or owners, whenever a sale is contemplated.

Thirty-four buildings and 36,500 acres of land are still held on requisition by the Air Ministry. These requisitions are kept under constant review and we hope to eliminate them completely within the next few years. Since requisitioning does not affect ownership, the last part of the Question does not arise.

In view of the size of the figure relating to the amount of land that is held, can my hon. Friend say whether any progress has been made in de-requisitioning? Secondly, will he pay particular attention to cases like that of Tarrant Rushton Airfield, owned by Commander Marten, on which it is alleged that my hon. Friend proposes to use compulsory powers merely to confirm a letting to a private company? Will he take into account the general public feeling against the principle of this kind of thing?

The Question deals with de-requisition. Since the war we have reduced the number of premises held on requisition from about 6,000 down to 34, and the amount of land from 250,000 acres to 36,500 acres.