HC Deb 17 April 1946 vol 421 c2658
4. General Sir George Jeffreys

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air for what purpose the air station at Lasham, near Alton, Hampshire is now being used; when it is proposed to derequisition the site of this station; and what steps it is proposed to take to restore to agriculture this area of formerly productive land.

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Mr. Strachey)

Lasham will almost certainly become a permanent Royal Air Force Station. We are at present using it for a repair and salvage unit, and a contract has been let there for work on gliders. This limits the agricultural use of the land to grass for drying.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Is the hon. Member aware that this station occupies what was very good agricultural land? Is there any justification for making this place into a permanent Royal Air Force station, in view of the great loss that that will mean to agriculture?

Mr. Strachey

I am very willing to look into this matter, but this is a concrete runwayed airfield, so that a very great deal of the agricultural use has, I am afraid, gone in any case, and the place is considered very suitable for a permanent R. A. F. station.

Mr. Cobb

Is my hon. Friend aware that, even if the land between the runways cannot be used, there is, as he will see if he looks at the map of the perimeter, a considerable amount of grassland to the North, East and West that undoubtedly could be used as agricultural land, even if the aerodrome is being used? Would he consider this matter again, so that my forefathers, who used to farm this land, will be able to sleep peacefully once more in their graves?

Mr. Strachey

We have every sympathy with my hon. Friend and his forefathers. At the moment the place is being used as a repair and salvage depot. That might limit the agricultural use of the land a little more than if this were only a flying ground. I will certainly look into the matter again.