HC Deb 08 December 1955 vol 547 cc109-10W
Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation when the land required for the by-pass round Greenham Common Airfield was requisitioned from the owners; when payment for this land was completed; how the compensation has been calculated; and how far the same procedure is to be followed when land is acquired for the purposes of the new roads now to be constructed elsewhere.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In this case it was thought necessary to extend Greenham Common Airfield, which was urgently wanted for the purposes of the United States Air Force. Accordingly, land was requisitioned in the summer of 1951 to enable substitute roads to be provided in place of roads which had to be closed as a result of the extension of the airfield.

An Order has now been made under the powers of Section 2 (5) of the Supplies and Services (Defence Purposes) Act, 1951, which will enable the land to be bought. I regret the delay which has occurred in the making of the Order. To a large extent this was due to the policy of avoiding the purchase of requisitioned land save in exceptional circumstances, but some time was also necessary for negotiation with those whose interests will be affected by the Order.

The compensation to be pad will be in accordance with the basis laid down in the Requisitioned Land and War Works Act, 1945, and the Town and Country Planning Acts, and I will do my best to ensure that payment is completed as soon as possible. Preliminary negotiations are already in hand. The arrangements made at the time of requisitioning provide that accrued interest will be paid on the purchase price of the land. In my view the powers of requisitioning should be used only where it is impracticable to do what is required by more normal procedure, and I do not intend to use these powers in respect of new roads to be constructed elsewhere.

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