Ministry of Defence to sell 13 sites for 17,000 homes

Ministry of Defence to sell 13 sites for 17,000 homes

A total of 13 Ministry of Defence sites will be sold to provide land for up to 17,017 homes and will raise £225m, the government has said.

Defence minister Mark Lancaster said 12,565 of the homes were “expected to materialise in this Parliament”.

He acknowledged this would impact on civilian and military staff but provisions were being made, he said.

The sites include an RAF base, barracks, ex-World War Two airfields and a chaplaincy centre.

They also include two golf courses at RAF Henlow and Southwick Park in Hampshire.

Meanwhile, Network Rail has announced it will release land at almost 200 sites for 12,000 new homes by 2020.

This includes 5,000 homes in London, 3,600 homes in Manchester and the north, 1,700 homes in the Midlands and the east of England and 1,400 homes in the south of England.

The 13 military sites that will be sold by the MoD are:

RAF Henlow, Bedfordshire
Middlewick Ranges, Essex
Amport House, Andover, Hampshire, the British Armed Forces chaplaincy centre
Land at Harley Hill, Catterick, North Yorkshire
Chalgrove Airfield, Oxfordshire, a former World War Two airfield
Colerne Airfield, Chippenham, Wiltshire, a former World War Two airfield
Azimghur Barracks, Chippenham, Wiltshire
Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, Grantham, Lincolnshire
Old Dalby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
Venning Barracks, Telford
Parsons Barracks, Donnington
Southwick Park, Fareham, Hampshire
Royal Marines Stonehouse, Plymouth

The MoD said the land at Venning and Parsons Barracks are the only sites that will not have housing built on them, as they will be used for commercial development at the request of Telford and Wrekin Council.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “We are getting rid of land that we don’t need to build homes that we do, generating hundreds of millions of pounds in the process.

“Our commitment to protect and increase the budget for our armed forces means that every penny of that will be reinvested into defence, helping to keep Britain safe.”

But shadow defence secretary Clive Lewis said: “Affordable housing is desperately needed across the UK, particularly by service families, who have seen the cost of their housing go up as conditions get worse.

“So it’s disappointing that the MoD has failed to say how many of these potential new homes will be affordable, or how many could be set aside for service personnel.

“In fact, they cannot even reassure us that these sites will be used to build new homes at all,” he said.

Mr Lancaster said the sales would contribute £225m towards the MoD’s £1bn target for land release sales, as set out in its spending review last year.

The release of the sites contributes to the government commitment to provide land for 160,000 homes by 2020, he said.

The 2015 Conservative manifesto pledged that 200,000 quality Starter Homes would be built over the course of the Parliament, reserved for first-time buyers under 40 and sold at 20 % below the market price.

Source BBC NEWS 6th September 2016

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