§ Mr. Chapman
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the nature and purposes of his Department's land holdings; and how much of them he plans to sell over the next five years as surplus to requirements.
§ Mr. Freeman
The defence estate exists to meet the needs of the services and the Procurement Executive for operational bases, support facilities, accommodation and training areas. Regular reviews ensure that Ministry of Defence land holdings are used efficiently and are no larger than necessary. Our policy is not to acquire additional land without careful scrutiny and confirmation that the requirement cannot be met from within existing resources. During the next five years it is planned to dispose of some 7,000 acres although some acquisitions will also be required over the same period, particularly to meet our shortage of training land.