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Defence review to see dozens of sites close

By DPF Admin8th November 2016August 6th, 2019Area Updates, Latest News, Northern Updates, Southern Updates

The UK government will sell off 56 more defence sites by 2040, the defence secretary has told MPs.

Sir Michael Fallon said the sale of the sites – part of a review of Ministry of Defence land – was in addition to the sale of 35 MoD sites that had previously been announced.

Unions called the plans “brutal” and promised to fight the closures.

But Sir Michael said it would deliver better value for money and release enough land to build 55,000 homes.

It is estimated that about £140m will be saved over the next decade by selling off the sites, which Sir Michael said would be reinvested in creating “areas of military expertise” in locations across the country.

More than 32,000 acres of defence land will be released, including 10 surplus airfields and five golf courses.

            Fort George barracks to close in 2032

            Three sites to be sold in Northern Ireland

            Brecon Barracks to close after 220 years

“By putting money where it is needed, we will provide better facilities to train our armed forces and deliver more stability for military families,” he said, adding that the moves are part of a package of more than £4bn of investment in the services.

The majority of sites will be in England, including parts of Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire – the Army's largest garrison – the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, near Grantham, and Imphal Barracks in York.

A further eight sites in Scotland will close, including the Redford Calvary and Infantry Baracks in Edinburgh, and Fort George, near Ardersier.

Then Wales and Northern Ireland will each have three bases closed, including Brecon Barracks.

New sites and bases will be moved to locations which are selected based on employment opportunities in the community, enabling military families to buy their own homes and reducing disruption to children's education, Sir Michael said.

These include new regional hubs for light infantry battalions in London, Edinburgh, Lisburn, St Athan, Blackpool and Cottesmore, as well as air assault forces in Colchester and a specialised infantry group in Aldershot.

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