asked the Minister of Transport when the public inquiry was held Co consider the proposal to develop a road along the southern boundary of Chalgrove Airfield as an alternative to that section of the Oxford-Watlington road now diverted through Chalgrove village; and if any buildings or fencing had been erected on the airfield in advance of the inquiry, which would have been affected by the proposed line of the new road.
The public inquiry into road closures at Chalgrove Airfield was held by the War Works Commission on 7th February, 1962. Re-fencing of the airfield boundary for safety reasons was begun in June, 1961, and part of this will be affected by the line of the proposed new road. No buildings have been erected on this line.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the erection of this fence, which I understand runs for about 1¼ to 1½ miles and has cost about £3,000 to £3,500, before the inquiry was held has given the impression that the company concerned thought the inquiry was merely a formality and that the necessary permission to close the road would be granted whatever objections were raised? Would my right hon. Friend like to comment on that?
It is not a formality. The fence can be realigned if it is decided to provide a new road inside the existing airfield boundary. There have been instances of dangerous trespassing on to the runways of the airfield and it was for that reason that fencing was necessary.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that a great part of the airfield is still open to trespassers?
Yes, but not as much as it was before the fence was erected.