HC Deb 14 April 1964 vol 693 cc228-9
30. Mr. Hilton

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will consider including the Sculthorpe Air Base, Norfolk, which will soon be vacated by the United States Air Force, in his proposals for new towns, in connection with his plans for the future of south-east England.

Sir K. Joseph

I have asked the local planning authorities for their views on the proposals in the South-East Study, and I shall consider any suggestions that they put forward for expansion at places not named in the Study. I understand, however, that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence for the Royal Air Force has not yet reached any decision on the future use of the airfield at Sculthorpe.

Mr. Hilton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are 600 civilians employed at the base while the number of farm workers in the area continues to decline and there is no alternative employment? Is he further aware that it is considered likely that this base, with houses, buildings and installations valued at about £80 million, could form the basis of a new town and bring much-needed new industry into the area? Will he give careful consideration, in consultation with his colleagues concerned, to this very valuable site?

Sir K. Joseph

Subject to the decision of my right hon. Friend the Minister for Defence for the Royal Air Force, all these will be considerations for the local planning authority to take into account in the consultations I am having with them.

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