HC Deb 15 February 1940 vol 357 cc974-5W
Major Mills

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he can make any statement in regard to the proposed air-bombing range in the New Forest and the arrangements which have been made to safeguard the rights of the verderers and commoners, and the amenities of the forest; and what steps are being taken to deal expeditiously with claims for compensation?

Sir K. Wood

I am glad to have this opportunity of paying a tribute to the helpful attitude adopted towards the Air Ministry by the verderers and commoners of the New Forest, the New Forest Association, and others in the neighbourhood, in enabling us to meet the urgent requirement for a live bombing range in this area without damage to agriculture, and with the least possible interference with amenities.

The arrangements now being concluded provide for the complete dismantling of the range on the termination of hostilities and for the restoration of the site together with all the rights and privileges which properly belong to it. The area will necessarily be enclosed whilst it is in the possession of the Air Ministry, but the boundary fences are being sited with the advice of the Forestry Commission in order to avoid interference with existing rights of way. As regards the second part of the Question, arrangements have been made for consultation with the verderers with a view to a reasonable and expeditious settlement of claims for compensation.

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