Saw this on the BBC website. Can't comment on specific locations but it does show one of the problems the MOD has in having to keep MQs available for a rainy day but at the same time it picks up the bill for maintenance. I think we probably all agree that you do need to keep surplus MQs available to deal with unexpected postings etc. Problem is it would be cheaper for MOD to hand these back and then pick up the tab for the odd hiring/private rental for some individuals coming into an area where there were no MQs. Problem then would be that some mong in the media would then lambast the MOD for wasting taxpayers money on hirings, etc etc.
The shape and size of the AF is evolving at a tempo that the infrastructure piece simply cannot match. Take Abbey Wood for example - an area that has traditionally had a minimal mil footprint but which is now having to absorb much of the old DLO. You can't pull houses out of a hat, particularly if you wish to create a mil patch.
The downsizing of Germany and the Super Garrison concept also create problems - just where is the new housing needed, and should we dispose of that which is surplus now when it might be needed again pretty rapidly as policy and politics alter the original plan and assumptions.
There is also the issue of disposals creating mixed estates, where enclaves of chavs are housed in the centre of existing mil patches creating all kinds of social and welfare issues.
Bottom line though is that it is the CofC that makes the decisions on whether or not accommodation is reqd - DE merely reacts to this decision making.
Well I would imagine houses standing empty for 10 years and no longer fit to inhabit was a good sign someone got it wrong.
I agree there are issues with forward planning but the example of Abbey Wood is not a good one. The whole complex had to be developed so why was accomodation for those who were to work there not considered/developed at the same time as the office space.
Surplus housing stock in and around London/Pirbright/the South East can probably be safely got rid of since the clear trend is for the Army moving out, not in to these areas.
I do accept the mixed estates issue as very valid.