HC Deb 06 March 2001 vol 364 cc176-7W
Mr. Steen

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken to find alternative sites for dry military training on Dartmoor when the present licence expires. [151691]

Dr. Moonie

[holding answer 5 March 2001]: Dartmoor Training Area covers an area of approximately 30,000 acres, of which 3,442 are the freehold property of the Ministry of Defence. The remainder is licensed from three landlords: the Duchy of Cornwall, the Maristowe Estate and South West Water. The Duchy and Maristowe licences do not expire until 2012 and we have not yet, therefore, begun exploring the possibility of alternative sites. The licence for the land on Cramber Tor and Combshead owned by South West Water does, however, expire later this year but the training currently conducted in this area could not be absorbed elsewhere within the Dartmoor Training Area, nor on other land in the vicinity. The Ministry of Defence has work in hand to extend its rights to train on this land.