HC Deb 04 November 1966 vol 735 cc197-8W
Sir C. Osborne

asked the Secretary of State for Defence why the principles established by the Crichel Down's case are not being applied to the sale of a bungalow in Theddlethorpe St. Helens, Lincolnshire, which was compulsorily acquired in 1935 and is now being sold by public auction on his instruction in order to get the highest possible profit, instead of being offered at a fair price to the widow of the previous owner; and if he will take steps to safeguard the rights of this citizen.

Mr. Reynolds

The policy to which the hon. Members refers was stated by the then Minister of Agriculture in the debate on Crichel Down on 20th July, 1954 [OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th July, 1954; Vol. 530, c.1189–1192.] It applies to agricultural land which has been acquired compulsorily for which there is no further Government need.

This bungalow was included in a purchase of seven acres from Mr. and Mrs. G. Hudson in July, 1935, of which part has been transferred to the Nature Conservancy and part is still required by the Ministry of Defence. The bungalow and the small area of land being sold with it are not agricultural in character and do not therefore fall within the terms of this policy. But in view of the special circumstances of this case my right hon. Friend is prepared to give the late owners' daughter-in-law the opportunity of buying the bungalow at the district valuer's assessment of the current market value.