HC Deb 15 January 1964 vol 687 cc193-4
9. Mr. Turner

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will take steps to expedite the inter-Departmental inquiry into the future use of the remaining 700 acres of Woolwich Arsenal land, and in particular that land to be vacated by the Royal Ordnance Factory on its closure.

The Under-Secretary of State for War (Mr. Peter Kirk)

We are conducting the inquiry as quickly as possible.

Mr. Turner

Does my hon. Friend appreciate the great difficulties confronting the London County Council or the Borough Council of Woolwich until it is known what is to happen to the remaining part of the Arsenal land? It is impossible for anyone, either public authority or private enterprise, to make any plans at all for Woolwich until it is known what has to be cartered for.

Mr. Kirk

Yes, we do appreciate that and we are pressing on as fast as we can.

Mr. Mayhew

In the meantime, will the hon. Gentleman give an assurance that he will not dispose of this land to other authorities without the agreement of the planning authority?

Mr. Kirk

We shall, of course, be going through the normal procedures with the planning authorities in this matter.

13. Mr. Mayhew

asked the Secretary of State for War how many persons are employed in Woolwich Arsenal other than at the Royal Ordnance factory; and when he expects to reach a decision about the future of the Arsenal.

Mr. Kirk

About 2,400. A decision will be made about the future of Woolwich Arsenal as soon as possible.

Mr. Mayhew

In the meantime, will the Minister confirm that there is no intention of closing down the Arsenal as distinct from the R.O.F.?

Mr. Kirk

There is not, subject to the review at present being conducted by my Department

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