HC Deb 23 October 2000 vol 355 c39W
Dr. Julian Lewis

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the security implications for Marchwood Military Port of the siting of a container port and access roads thereto in its close vicinity. [133808]

Mr. Spellar

The Ministry of Defence would have no objection in principle to any such development and indeed could see some operational advantages to the construction of such a container port. However, any such development would have to take careful account of the special requirements that would be associated with the construction of a civilian facility adjacent to a strategic military asset. In particular, we would need to review carefully the impact of security at the port, together with associated access and safety issues. If any such development were to be taken forward, the MOD would need to be involved at the earliest opportunity to ensure that the capability of this important military facility was not compromised. Necessarily, this would demand that the MOD's requirements were addressed fully within the planning process.