§ Mr. SITCH
asked the Secretary of State for Air the total cost involved in erecting the aerodrome at Littlestone, in Kent; the amount paid to the owner of the land in the form of rent or compensation during the occupancy of the site by His Majesty's Government; the sum obtained from the sale of buildings erected thereon; whether the sale was by open tender; whether any additional charge was made for the granite, cement, shingle, and drain pipes used in filling dykes and otherwise, rendering the site suitable for the purposes of the aerodrome; and, if so, the amount of such additional charge?
I have been asked to reply to this question. I am informed by the Air Ministry that the cost in works and buildings services at the aerodrome at Littlestone was, approximately, £143,000 It should be borne in mind that the initial cost bears no relation to the actual market value of the buildings, but is largely accounted for by expenditure on non-productive works, such as drainage, roads and concrete aprons. The rent of the land occupied by the aerodrome was at the rate of £233 per annum. The sum obtained from the sale of the buildings and certain plant was £9,165. The sale, except in the case of the permanent buildings, was by auction, and the permanent buildings themselves were sold by private treaty after advertisement. The sale of the permanent buildings carried an indemnity against reinstatement estimated to cost £4,600. No additional charge was made for materials used in filling in dykes and otherwise, as these services formed1110W a liability rather than an asset, and as there was no intention of using the land as an aerodrome in the future. An additional £400 was paid to the outgoing tenant for tenant right.