§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are his intentions for the future of the land which he still owns at the former RAF, Stradishall, giving details of the numbers and types of exercises of armoured fighting vehicles he plans to arrange, and the safeguards that he is proposing to protect local people and the environment from nuisance.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
It is intended to use the 550 acres still owned by the Ministry of Defence at the former Royal Air Force station at Stradishall as a local training area for Army units.
Planning clearance has been sought from the St. Edmundsbury district council in the normal way to cover this use.
Under current plans about six vehicles, some of which would be rubber-tracked Scorpion light armoured vehicles, would use the site daily and on about eight occasions each year it is planed to use Stradishall for major exercises. These would be of approximately 48 hours duration and on these occasions up to 100 vehicles could take part.
There will be no live firing although blank ammunition, smoke and flares will be used periodically during exercises. Because of the small number of troops using the site at any one time it is extremely doubtful whether any of those living in close proximity to 314W the area will be inconvenienced by its use as a training area. It is planned to establish clumps of woodland and to seed down to grass some 200 acres of the airfield, while a further 300 acres will be licensed for arable cultivation.