More than 1,200 hectares of surplus public sector land is being released across sites which stretch right across the UK. The sites are expected to provide land for up to 17,000 new homes, contributing to the government’s target of building 160,000 new homes by 2020 and all of the money generated from land sales will be invested back into meeting the needs of the Armed Forces.
The land will include two golf courses at RAF Henlow and Southwick Park after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon questioned the need for them during a speech on defence reform, where he confirmed the estate optimisation strategy would aim to reduce the size of the defence estate by 30% over 25 years. The announcement – which is the third tranche of sites to be released - means the MOD has now freed up enough brownfield and surplus public sector land for up to 39,000 new homes, expected to generate around £930 million.
The optimisation strategy aims to reduce the size of the MOD estate which totals just under half a million hectares by selling off sites for which there is no longer a long-term Defence requirement. This will reduce unnecessary estate running costs for Defence and result in a smaller, but better, Defence estate which caters for the future Armed Forces and delivers upon the commitments made in Strategic Defence & Security Review 2015 (SDSR15). The MOD expects to make further announcements as part of the strategy later in 2016.
The list of sites includes,
RAF Henlow (Bedfordshire)
Middlewick Ranges (Essex)
Amport House (Andover)
Land at Harley Hill (Catterick)
Chalgrove Airfield (Oxford) Transferred to the Homes and Communities Agency
Colerne Airfield (Chippenham)
Azimghur Barracks (Chippenham)
Prince William of Gloucester Barracks (Grantham)
Old Dalby (Melton Mowbray)
Venning Barracks (Telford)
Parsons Barracks (Donnington)
Southwick Park (Fareham)
Royal Marines Stonehouse (Plymouth)