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Magilligan Ranges

Volume 114: debated on Tuesday 7 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement indicating which proposed developments or activities in the area of Magilligan ranges would lead to restrictions on access to Magilligan Point.

There are no plans for further restrictions on public access to Magilligan Point.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement indicating which future planned or possible activities or developments by the Ministry of Defence and Crown forces in the area of Magilligan ranges are part of, or related to, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation programmes.

There are no plans to develop facilities at Magilligan range for use by NATO forces.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement indicating the total acreage of land purchased by his Department over the past 30 months in the area of Magilligan ranges in County Derry.

A total of 561 acres of land has been purchased by the Ministry of Defence over the past 30 months, in this area.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement indicating what pieces of land have been bought by his Department in the area of Magilligan ranges since July 1986.

The only land purchase by the Ministry of Defence since July 1986 was of an area of land extending to 235 acres in the vicinity of Ballymagoland Oughtymore in August 1986.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement indicating whether his Department is presently involved in or contemplating approaches or negotiations to purchase further lands in the area of Magilligan ranges in County Derry.

The existing dry training area at Magilligan does not fully meet the needs of the units which have to use it. Some informal approaches have therefore been made to local landowners about the possibility of acquiring adjoining land, although there are no firm plans for an extension at present.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement indicating what proportion of Benowen beach is treated by his Department as part of its range area in Magilligan; and what are the restrictions on access to that beach.

The 4½ miles of beach between Benowen beach Sangar and Magilligan Point Sangar are closed to the public when firing on the range is in progress. Firing takes place between 8 am and 4 pm on every day of the week. However, the beach is open to the public during a six-week period in the summer, between the last week in June and the first week of August, when the range closes down.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement indicating his Department's policy on possible tourist developments in the Magilligan-Benowen area and particularly Magilligan Point.

The only concern of the Ministry of Defence is to ensure that any developments are compatible with defence requirements, such as range safety areas.