New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: After a six-year campaign and a year-long public inquiry, the nightmare prospect of a container port on the edge of the New Forest was blocked. May we have a statement soon from a Defence Minister on the proposal to sell the freehold of land near Marchwood Military Port on Southampton Water, because my constituents are concerned that if Associated British Ports was the buyer of the freehold, that nightmare prospect of a container port would be revived?

[The Leader of the House of Commons (Sir George Young): I well remember my hon. Friend's vigorous campaign in earlier Parliaments on precisely this issue. As he said, it was announced in the strategic defence and security review that the Ministry of Defence intended to sell Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre. Since then, no formal dialogue or negotiations have been entered into with any interested parties, including ABP. Work is at an early stage and the Government will engage relevant stakeholders, including, I am sure, my hon. Friend and the local residents whom he represents.]