HC Deb 08 March 1972 vol 832 cc1421-3
8. Mr. Wilkinson

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will make a further statement on his estimate of the costs of the Foulness Airport project.

Mr. Peter Walker

I cannot yet add anything to the answer I gave my hon. Friend on 16th February.—[Vol. 831, c. 392.]

Mr. Wilkinson

Will my right hon. Friend reconsider his remarks on 16th February about the Brancker Memorial Lecture by the Chairman of British Caledonian when my right hon. Friend said that the Chairman of British Caledonian Airways had an interest and therefore implicitly discounted suggestions made by him? Surely what the chairman was saying was that when up to £1,000 million of public money was being invested, one had to look at the full ramifications of the issue, including future technological developments in aero engineering.

Mr. Walker

I agree that it is right to look at all the implications of the project. We have done so, and we are proceeding with Maplin.

20. Mr. Douglas

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received on the exploitation of the Foulness area since 2nd February, 1972.

Mr. Peter Walker

I have received various representations from public and private interests and from a few hon. Members.

Mr. Douglas

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that he has received one specific representation indicating that development of Foulness should go far beyond the type of development set out in the statement of 2nd February? If he is really looking for port development in the United Kingdom will he cast his eyes much further north, to Hunterston, where there would be no need to dredge and where the establishment of a Europort would be of the greatest assistance to the area?

Mr. Walker

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that I completely adhere to the statement I made on this matter and have no intention of allowing primary industrial development to take place.

Sir Bernard Braine

Would my right hon. Friend agree that quite the most important representations lie is likely to have received are from my constituents who will be affected by the whole project? Will he take this opportunity of giving an indication of when detailed proposals as to the location of the runways, the access routes and the new urbanisation are likely to be made public so that our people can know how they are to be affected?

Mr. Walker

I cannot give that information but I can assure my hon. Friend that I shall very soon make available to local authorities, amenity organisations and others concerned not the siting of the runways but the factors that we will be taking into consideration in coming to a conclusion, so that they can make their observations.

Mr. Crosland

While I still hope that Foulness will not go ahead, if it goes ahead will the right hon. Gentleman clear up one misunderstanding? Is it not the case that Professor Buchanan in his minority report on the Roskill Commission, although in favour of Foulness, was not in favour of a huge industrial complex on regional planning grounds and the grounds of the general overcrowding of South-East Essex? Can the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that the statement he made on, I think, 13th February limiting the likely industrial and port development is broadly within the kind of limitations that Professor Buchanan had in mind?

Mr. Walker

The right hon. Gentleman will understand that I cannot speak for Professor Buchanan without consulting him on this topic but I can assure him that I have endeavoured to interpret Professor Buchanan's view in not allowing a massive development at Maplin which would be very bad on regional policy grounds.