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Volume 508: debated on Monday 29 March 2010

11. If he will visit Kyle of Lochalsh and Raasay before resubmission of proposals on the future of QinetiQ operations to discuss the effects of those operations on that area; and if he will make a statement. (324456)

I would be delighted to visit Kyle of Lochalsh and the Raasay ranges. As the right hon. Gentleman will know, the proposals put forward by QinetiQ to rationalise those ranges have now been withdrawn. If in the future those proposals are resubmitted or if other proposals are made, I shall certainly visit the ranges before taking any decisions—as I did, as the right hon. Gentleman will recall, in the case of the Hebrides ranges last year.

I thank the Minister for that characteristically courteous reply and for his earlier letter to me on the matter, which will cause a good deal of reassurance locally. I hope that when a new report comes forward, if any does—it is rumoured that that might happen in the autumn, and perhaps he could give us an indication on that point—any such visit would involve all relevant community groups and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

I cannot give the right hon. Gentleman any indication of any timing or, indeed, predict any particular proposals that might come forward in the next few months, but I repeat my offer.