Yet more selling off

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Harry_Hesh, Jan 7, 2008.

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  1. Deepcut ‘earmarked for housing’
    07/01/2008 09:00

    The Princess Royal Barracks, in Surrey, will become a housing estate, reports The Guardian.

    The Deepcut facility, where four your soldiers were found shot dead between 1995 and 1992, will be demolished.

    The move is part of a shake-up in Army training that will be announced tomorrow. The Independent said there was no confirmation the site would make way for a 5,000-home housing estate.

    07/01/08 Guardian 8 Independent 18


    Just found this at work. Are there many more barracks left to sell off and shall we see any of the sales price? I think I know the answer........
     
  2. No doubt Surrey Heath MP Michael Gove will be seeking further clarification from Twigg, D.

    Deepcut is 'safe for 7 years'

    30/10/2007

    http://www.camberley.co.uk/news/2017/2017054/deepcut_is_safe_for_7_years

    DEEPCUT Barracks has been given a stay of execution after the Ministry of Defence announced the site will not close during the next seven years.

    As part of its Defence Training Review, the government plans to close a number of Army bases in the south of England and relocate them further north.

    In a letter to Surrey Heath MP Michael Gove in January, defence minister Derek Twigg confirmed the replacement of Deepcut. He said at the time that the move would come no sooner than 2011 and would depend on further negotiation.

    His failure to guarantee that it would be retained as a military site prompted fears the land could be sold to developers, with the potential to build 5,000 homes.

    However, during a meeting last Thursday Mr Twigg told Mr Gove that the barracks will remain in use by trainee soldiers until at least 2014, with the possibility of it staying open a further three years after that. Meanwhile, the MoD will continue to explore the possibility of relocating the training at Deepcut to the West Midlands or Hampshire.

    Mr Twigg also announced that the MoD will invest money into improving the accom-modation at the barracks, particularly for unmarried recruits.

    Mr Gove said: “For the next seven and possibly ten years Deepcut is safe and I think that while this is very far from being the absolute reassurance that people deserve it’s certainly a significant vote of confidence for the commandant and his team at Deepcut. It does mean that we have a greater degree of certainty and continuity than we have had before.”

    He said that there remains a long-term risk that the government may decide to sell the land for housing to assist Surrey Heath Borough Council achieve its quota for new properties including affordable housing.

    “The broader issue there is that there are other areas [to build on],” he said. “Because of the special protection area ruling, Surrey Heath is uniquely constrained but the thing about the Deepcut site is that much of it falls within the boundary of the area that’s covered by heathland.

    “The key thing here is that I’m keen to do everything possible to help the government and the local authority when it comes to the provision of affordable housing but it’s a mistake to think that the removal of the MoD from Deecput would provide an answer to the housing quota.”

    Cllr David Whitcroft, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Surrey Heath and councillor for Mytchett and Deepcut, welcomed the defence minister’s announcement.

    He added: “Obviously that period of time will remove the threat of over-development which has been hanging over the site for some time and that will be really good for the local authority and for the whole of Surrey Heath.”

    Shirley Coveney is a member of Mytchett, Frimley Green and Deepcut Society. When the Dettingen Park development — built on the site of the fomer Dettingen barracks — was proposed, the village of Deepcut had a meeting. While residents agreed that they did not mind the development they feared impact of a potential increase in traffic.

    With the potential to transform the site on which the barracks are situated into a minitown the size of Frimley, Heatherside and Lightwater, a dramatic population increase would create numerous problems for the area.

    Mrs Coveney said: “We thought Dettingen Park invigorated the village and we had a number of great people come to the village. Nobody minds if the Army go. We are quite practical and pragmatic.

    “However, the Army and the Royal Logistic Corps are the best neighbours in the world. They are amazing so we are thrilled that they are staying.

    “They are so helpful and are always there to support us when we need them.”

    Deepcut Barracks has been under close public scrutiny for several years after four young recruits died in controversial circumstances there between 1995 and 2002.

    Nicholas Blake QC was appointed by the MoD in 2004 to examine the cases after the families of the victims rejected the Army’s claims that the soldiers had all committed suicide and claimed that there was a culture of bullying and abuse at the barracks.

    Inquests into three of the soldiers’ deaths returned open verdicts.

    An independent review of the base’s management last year made more than 30 recommendations on how to avoid similar incidents happening again.

    A spokesman for the MoD said: “Training at Deepcut will continue unchanged under current arrangements for the foreseeable future. We remain fully committed to meet our obligations following the review by Nicholas Blake QC and will provide the necessary investment to maintain our accommodation and facilities to acceptable standards.”