Wormwood Scrubs

Defence written question – answered on 19th July 2005.

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Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands Conservative, Hammersmith and Fulham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 28 June 2005, Official Report, column 1402W on Wormwood Scrubs, whether development proposals include traffic management schemes.

Photo of Don Touhig Don Touhig Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Veterans), Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Veterans)

The London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is obliged to consult the Ministry of Defence under the provisions of the Wormwood Scrubs Act 1879 on development proposals on Wormwood Scrubs. Development proposals are defined in Section 4 of the Act as

... lay out, drain, level, plant and improve the Scrubs."

The definition covers all but the most minor of works. Therefore the requirement for this Department's approval would depend on the nature of any works needed under a proposed traffic management scheme.

I have previously referred to a related agreement in the form of a Memorandum of Agreement dated 1 October 1980. This is relevant as it sets out the management arrangements in respect of Wormwood Scrubs between the Secretary of State for Defence and the Council and further defines under what circumstances this Department's approval is required. The pertinent section of the 1980 agreement states:

The Secretary of State for Defence agrees for the purposes of the Act that the Greater London Council may carry out on the non-military portion of the Scrubs any operation to lay out drain level plant and improve the Scrubs without requiring his further approval provided the operation is otherwise lawful and does not form part of a major scheme likely to affect the general character of any part of the Scrubs and does not require the consent of the Secretary of State for the Environment."

Public roads would not be a military part of the Scrubs.

Therefore the Ministry of Defence would expect to be consulted if the Council proposed a development falling within the definition of the Act over the military portion of the Scrubs or was a major scheme.

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