HC Deb 21 June 1918 vol 107 cc648-9
6. Captain CARR-GOMM

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if the Lands Directorate officials have examined the area of land at Littleton, near Staines, belonging to the Metropolitan Water Board; whether he is aware of the fact that, since work on this land was stopped by the Ministry of Munitions, it is now lying derelict, that it is flat land over 600 acres in extent, has a gravel soil to the top, and, being 14 miles from London, is well supplied with communications by road, rail, and water; and, if it has not been inspected, will it now be considered in lieu of the agricultural land at Cippenham?


Yes, Sir; the site referred to has been inspected, but it is not considered so suitable for the purpose for which the land is required as the site at Cippenham. Further, I understand that the site at Littleton is regarded as essential for the water supply scheme for London; that it was selected by the Metropolitan Water Board only after the most exhaustive search had been made, and that a very large sum has already been spent on the land and earth works, etc. I would also point out that a large portion of the site at Littleton is under cultivation.


Is it not a fact, with regard to one of the points raised by the hon. Gentleman, that although this was selected by the Metropolitan Water Board it was only selected when two other sites were in contemplation, and that one of these two other sites—one at Dorney and the other at Wraysbury, could be obtained for the Metropolitan Water Board if the Government decided on this site?


I do not know what investigations the Metropolitan Water Board made with regard to securing a site for themselves. All I know is that they object to this site being taken now because of the very large amount of money spent on it.


Is it not a fact within the right hon. Gentleman's own knowledge that the land at Cippenham is not gravel soil at the top? It is in most parts loam and brick-earth, whereas this particular site at Littleton is gravel soil at the top, and is particularly suitable.


The hon. Member should give notice of that question.


Was it on account of the opposition of the Metropolitan Water Board that this site was turned down?



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