HC Deb 11 March 1971 vol 813 c576
38. Mr. Costain

asked the Minister of State for Defence whether he is yet in a position to make a statement on the release of surplus land at Shorncliffe for development purposes.

Mr. Ian Gilmour

It will be some time before the review by Lord Nugent's committee is completed. If in the meantime it becomes possible to release any small plots of land in the Shorncliffe area, this will be done.

Mr. Costain

What steps can I take to further impress on my hon. Friend the urgency of reaching a decision in this matter? Is he aware that we cannot do anything about development because thousands of acres of land lie sterile awaiting a decision on the Channel Tunnel? Would he please help me to know how to make him realise that we shall not reduce the unemployment level in the area unless a decision on this matter is reached?

Mr. Gilmour

My hon. Friend needs no advice from me because he has already impressed on me the urgency of this matter. If in the course of the review it becomes possible to offer for disposal any part of our holding, we will do so, but it must be appreciated that we must take into account our requirements not only in the Shorncliffe area but in the country as a whole.