HC Deb 19 April 1956 vol 551 c103W
Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

asked the Secretary of State for Air what further information he can now give in regard to the number of Service men likely to be stationed in Benbecula and South Uist in connection with the proposed guided missile range.

Mr. Birch

It is still planned to house on Benbecula most of the Service men connected with the Hebrides Guided Weapons Establishment. The total strength on Benbecula will probably be over 2,000, including the airfield staff, the fighter squadrons, and the men under training at the rangehead on South Uist, but the number of permanent staff likely to be required for operational, technical, administrative and other duties at the rangehead now seems likely to be about 600.

In these circumstances, it is clearly desirable from the operational and administrative point of view that these men should not be brought in every day from Benbecula but that they and their wives and families should be housed as near as possible to their work. A site for their accommodation on South Uist will be sought which will affect the crofting communities as little as possible. The north end of Loch Bee seems to be the most convenient locality, but the site will need to be surveyed and discussed with the county council and others concerned before a final decision is made. A new road will probably be constructed between the site and the rangehead and the main island road.

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