HC Deb 10 March 1958 vol 584 cc18-9W
Sir W. Anstruther-Gray

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he will make a statement about the future of his Department's buildings at Tantallon, which are no longer required for their original defence purposes and which interfere with the amenity of the area.

Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith

An American light engineering firm, with the support of the East Lothian County Council as local planning authority, and of North Berwick Town Council, is anxious to have the use of these buildings for the immediate establishment of a new industrial enterprise of considerable importance to the district. I appreciate that it is undesirable to have buildings of this sort close to the ancient monument of Tantallon Castle, especially in a place of such natural beauty; I have, therefore, consulted my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, who has been in touch with the Scottish Council for Industry, the National Trust for Scotland and other interested authorities and organisations. He is of the opinion that the site should ultimately be cleared, but there is no early prospect of funds becoming available for this purpose. In these circumstances he does not feel justified in impeding the establishment of this new industry. The Admiralty has, therefore, agreed to lease the buildings to the firm for a period of seven years only. If permanent premises elsewhere become available before the end of this period, the firm will be able to terminate the lease at an earlier date.