HC Deb 02 June 1992 vol 208 c692
4. Mr. Peter Bottomley

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when and how decisions will be made on the future of Eltham palace.

Mr. Archie Hamilton

A study examining the implications of moving the headquarters of the director of educational and training services (Army), including the Service Children's Education Authority, to Worthy Down is nearing completion. No decision will be taken before we have consulted all concerned, including the trade unions.

Mr. Bottomley

Will my right hon. Friend accept that my suggestion that a deputation should meet him or his colleagues because the future of Eltham palace, with its historic setting and great hall, should continue to be linked to education, whether or not with a military connection? That is a matter of great concern locally, although it may not be the biggest issue facing the military services at the moment.

Mr. Hamilton

I should be delighted to receive a delegation from my hon. Friend and to discuss the future of Eltham palace with him. We are having discussions at the moment with the Crown Estate Commissioners, the freeholders of Eltham palace, about how Eltham palace might be handed back.