Foulness and Maplin

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th May 1989.

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Photo of Dr Michael Clark Dr Michael Clark , Rochford 12:00 am, 9th May 1989

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans or proposals he has for returning Foulness island and Maplin sands to civilian use.

Photo of Mr Michael Neubert Mr Michael Neubert , Romford

None, Sir. The use of Foulness island and Maplin sands is essential to the operation of the proof and experimental establishment at Shoeburyness. It makes a vital, impartial and cost-effective contribution to ensuring the safety and effectiveness of our weapons systems.

Photo of Dr Michael Clark Dr Michael Clark , Rochford

Is my hon. Friend aware that there are rumours in my constituency that a consortium is seeking to build a major international airport on Maplin sands? Will he confirm that he is not negotiating with that consortium, or any other, and that he has no intention or plans to do so at present?

Photo of Mr Michael Neubert Mr Michael Neubert , Romford

I am aware of the rumours circulating in my hon. Friend's constituency. Matters of airport policy are for our right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport.