§ 6. Mr. Legh
asked the Secretary of State for War for how long he is proposing to close the public right of way across Bramshott Common from the Seven Thorns to Camp Superior; and whether he will make a diversion of the right of way to the north of Alexandra Camp as requested by the local authorities concerned.
§ Mr. Head
By an order made on 25th May, 1942, under Regulation 16 of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, several footpaths across Bramshott Common were closed and will have to remain closed for so long as it is necessary to retain buildings on the camp sites. A local inquiry is to be held next month.
§ Mr. Legh
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that Bramshott Common is highly regarded locally as a beauty spot, that commoners have rights upon it which have not been extinguished, and that the general public have had access to the common from time immemorial? Will he also bear in mind that the Hampshire Planning Authority has repeatedly asked that this camp be removed to the other side of the road and site it on existing War Department property? Will he say when he will be able to accede to their request?
§ 15. Mr. Legh
asked the Secretary of State for War on what date the Minister of Housing and Local Government approved the use of Alexandra Camp, Bramshott, by the War Department on the understanding that new buildings or the reconstruction of existing buildings would be undertaken only after consultation with the local planning authority; why two brick buildings and two concrete buildings have been erected without 240 consultation with the Hampshire County Planning Committee: why these buildings have been erected notwithstanding that committee's notification, to Headquarters, Aldershot District, on 1st July, 1950, that it would not approve buildings, except buildings incidental to the use of the agreed area for recreation grounds, being erected on the north-west side of the trunk road; and whether he will cause the four buildings to be removed.
§ Mr. Head
The proposals of the then Minister of Town and Country Planning, made on 21st April, 1950, were not accepted by the local planning authority, who said that in the permanent plan no buildings should be erected on the northwest side of the trunk road, and that the retention of the camp should be reviewed in five years from 1950.
The buildings referred to by my hon. Friend will not form part of the permanent layout, but it is not intended to remove them at present. The future of the camp as a whole will be settled in consultation with the local planning authority and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government.
§ Mr. Legh
Does not this represent a flagrant breach of the planning authority? Why should a Government Department get away with things for which a private individual would get into serious trouble? Would not my right hon. Friend agree that it is most undesirable that a Government Department should appear to be above the law? Will he, therefore, be good enough to change his mind and have these buildings removed?
§ 16. Mr. Legh
asked the Secretary of State for War why his Department has contravened commoners' rights by fencing off a recreation ground on Bramshott Common, notwithstanding the Hampshire County Planning Committee's notification to Headquarters, Aldershot District, on 1st July, 1950, that it would not approve the erection of fencing.
§ Mr. Legh
That is not exactly in accordance with my information. Would not my right hon. Friend agree that this is another breach of planning authority, and will he bear in mind that there is great local indignation about this matter? The fence has not yet been completed, and may I, therefore, appeal to my right hon. Friend once again to change his mind and to remove that portion of the fence which has been put up?