Former army camp could hold the key, says MP

NORTH Devon MP Nick Harvey is to quiz Government ministers over their plans for the recently-closed Fremington army camp. Mr Havey has tabled Parliamentary Questions to energy and defence ministers about the camp s potential to house construction teams wo

NORTH Devon MP Nick Harvey is to quiz Government ministers over their plans for the recently-closed Fremington army camp.

Mr Havey has tabled Parliamentary Questions to energy and defence ministers about the camp's potential to house construction teams working on the proposed Atlantic Array offshore wind farm.

"I am a keen supporter of the proposed Atlantic Array project, and welcome its recent go-ahead from Government," said Mr Harvey. "It will be an economic bonanza for whichever is its host port, and Yelland in North Devon is competing with alternatives in South Wales to secure this role.

"One possible advantage for Yelland is that just two miles away the Ministry of Defence has recently closed the army training camp at Fremington. That is a decision I think they will come to regret, but it is too late to reverse it.


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"I am asking defence ministers what plans they have for the site in the short and longer terms. Options for housing development are complicated by the minimal access to the site, and to English Heritage having taken an unexpected interest.

"But one way of putting it to use in the short term might be to explore the feasibility of it housing construction workers from a potential Yelland base for the Atlantic Array. There could be as many as 3,000 workers during the construction phase. In the longer term the scheme is likely to produce about 200 permanent jobs.

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"It could put Yelland at a major advantage over its Welsh rivals if the nearby Fremington army camp site could provide extensive temporary accommodation during the construction phase of the Array.

"We hear a lot these days about 'Joined-Up Government' so I just want to make sure that this option is explored thoroughly before any final decision on the camp's future or the Array's operating base.

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