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Defence Land

Volume 35: debated on Monday 17 January 1983

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the Nugent committee recommendations for disposal of defence lands have now been carried out.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend on 16 February 1981. Further to that reply, the land at the Dover/Folkestone complex, Kent; Pershore, Hereford and Worcestershire; and Kenley, Surrey have now been passed for disposal. Some of the other land referred to in that reply will be disposed of as soon as possible, for example after the completion of explosives ordnance clearance. The remainder will be retained for training or other purposes.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give the total acreage of defence land in the United Kingdom held in 1951, 1961, 1971, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 and at the latest available date.

I regret that the figures for Ministry of Defence land holdings in the United Kingdom are not readily available prior to 1960. At that time holdings stood at 761,000 acres. Acreages at 1 April 1971, and 1979 to 1982 are as follows:

October 1982610,000

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how the total area of land used for defence training by United Kingdom forces has varied in West Germany, Norway, Canada and elsewhere between 1971 and 1983.

A number of countries mainly comprising the other members of NATO make extensive areas of land available for training by United Kingdom forces. It is not possible to quantify the acreage used. Training opportunities overseas for stationed United Kingdom forces have however been greatly reduced in recent years.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how much land the Ministry of Defence holds in Northern Ireland at the present date; and what was the comparable figure for 1971.

In October 1982 the Ministry of Defence held 8,317 acres in Northern Ireland. The comparative figure in October 1971 was 7,429 acres.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many acres of the Pennines the Nugent committee report recommended should be released from defence use; how much has been released; how much will be released once they have been made safe from unexploded material; and how quickly the making safe programme is progressing.

I regret that the Pennines area represents an insufficiently exact geographical description to enable the required information to be provided.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will update the reply to the hon. Member for Stockport North on 8 December 1975 concerning those lands which have been added to defence land since 1970 and those lands which have been released.

These records are no longer held centrally and such details could only be made available at disproportionate cost.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Stockport, North on 26 January 1976, Official Report, c. 48, what defence lands which were not recommended for disposal by the Nugent committee on defence lands are now being disposed of, or have been disposed of.

I regret that this information is not readily available and that it could not be obtained without disproportionate time and effort.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set up a new committee of inquiry into the amount of land being held by his Department in areas of outstanding natural beauty.