Defence Estate: 7th December 2016

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
I commend the Secretary of State for his statement today and for the magnificent job he does in defending our country. It is not in today’s announcement, but I think it is relevant that it has been announced that Chetwynd barracks in my constituency will close. We will miss the Army very much, especially the Royal Engineers. It sounds a strange request, but we want to get that land as soon as possible as it will help us to achieve our housing targets. Can my right hon. Friend give a commitment today that when it comes to the disposal of land, the Army and everybody else will do it as quickly as possible?
Sir Michael Fallon
I am grateful to my right hon. Friend, particularly for the terms in which she has been considering this matter for some time. The proposal in the strategy is, as she knows, to close Chetwynd barracks by 2021 and to move the principal units from there to Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire. I can well understand the feeling of the local community that it wants to get on with this now—that it wants to get the Army out and the new housing in—and I will certainly undertake to have a look at whether we can speed up that timetable.