§ 110. Mr. Malcolm MacMillan
asked the Minister of Defence what other sites in less populated areas in Great Britain were fully examined and technically surveyed before Her Majesty's Government announced the proposal to establish a guided missile range in the island of South Uist; what acreage of land and what number of crofters and others will be adversely affected; whether he has considered the objections of many local people and others to the project; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Selwyn Lloyd
The safety requirements for a guided weapon range demand not only that it should be in one of the less populated areas of Britain but also that it should avoid congested air and shipping routes and extensively fished areas. It must also be associated with radar and airfield facilities. These considerations narrow down the choice of sites in the United Kingdom. After information had been collected about a number of possible places, it was clear that only a site in the Outer Hebrides would be likely to meet all the requirements. South Uist was chosen after a reconnaissance of the islands in the Outer Hebrides. A full survey is now taking place.
Detailed plans of the possible disposition of the various facilities for the range will be drawn up in the light of the survey report. When these are complete, specific proposals will be formulated and all the interests which are affected will be informed and given every opportunity to lodge objections. If there are objections of substance a public local inquiry will be arranged.