November 9, 2016
The latest part of the UK’s vast public sector estate that is being primed for a large scale sell-off is that of the Ministry of Defence. According to a government statement, 91 sites including more than fifty barracks, naval sites and airfields will be sold under plans to shrink the size of the defence estate by nearly a third. The MoD predicts that the sale will raise around £1 billion and cut running costs by around £140 million per annum, while the rest of the estate will benefit from the investment of around £4 billion to improve housing and facilities for personnel. Perhaps surprisingly the MoD also owns five golf courses which will be sold as part of the shake up announced in the newly published A Better Defence Estate strategy document.
The MoD estate currently makes up around 2 percent of the UK’s land, so the sale will have implications for land use and communities across the UK as the MoD focuses its estate in key locations such as Aldershot, Catterick, Salisbury Plain and Colchester.
The strategy aims to bring the estate into line with the one third reduction in the number of service personnel since 2,000 and will focus on older properties that don’t meet the services’ current needs. The sale will also see the release of 32,500 acres of estate including airfields which the MoD says could provide enough land for the construction of 55,000 homes.
The main sites up for decommissioning:
Imphal Barracks, York
Woolwich Barracks, London
Fort George, the Highlands
Glencorse Barracks, Midlothian
Robertson Barracks, Norfolk
Brecon Barracks, Wales
The Royal Citadel, Plymouth
Fulwood Barracks, Preston
Southwick Park, Portsmouth
Redford Cavalry Barracks, Edinburgh
Redford Infantry Barracks, Edinburgh
Dale Barracks, Chester