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MoD to raise £225m selling off military sites for housing

Published 06/09/2016

RAF Henlow, pictured in 1968, is to be sold off by the MoD
RAF Henlow, pictured in 1968, is to be sold off by the MoD

The Ministry of Defence has announced plans to sell off 13 military sites to raise £225 million and provide land for up to 17,000 homes.

Among facilities to be sold is the historic Plymouth headquarters of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines at Stonehouse.

Defence sources said that the Marines had "outgrown" the buildings, which date back to the 18th century and have long been associated with the commando force. The Brigade is to be relocated to a new home with facilities suited to their modern requirements.

The sales form part of a programme of defence estate rationalisation announced in last year's Spending Review and is expected to deliver a total of £1 billion in revenue while creating space for 55,000 homes, including some in areas of high demand.

In a written statement to the House of Commons, Defence Minister Mark Lancaster said consultations will take place over the coming weeks with "stakeholders" including trade unions, to determine the future of each site and their occupants.

"I acknowledge that these moves will have an impact upon civilian and military staff," said Mr Lancaster. "The department is making arrangements to provide for units and functions based at sites which will not have a future defence requirement.

"I will make a further announcement setting out the Estate Optimisation Strategy with details on the sequencing and timing of these moves later this year."

Mr Lancaster added: "The release of land by the MoD has the potential to provide land for new homes and we will continue to engage with impacted local authorities to determine how the department's assessment of housing unit allocation against each site may be considered as part of the authority's local plan."

Also up for sale is the site of the Royal Military Police HQ and Defence School of Policing and Guarding at Southwick Park, in Fareham, Hampshire.

Other facilities being sold off are RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire; Chalgrove airfield in Oxfordshire; Colerne airfield and the Azimghur barracks near Chippenham, Wiltshire; the Prince William of Gloucester barracks in Grantham; the Venning and Parsons barracks in Telford; Middlewick ranges near Colchester; Amport House in Andover, Hampshire; and land at Old Dalby in Leicestershire and Harley Hill in North Yorkshire.

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