MP tackles Minister on future of Fremington Army Camp
NORTH Devon MP NICK HARVEY has tabled written questions to defence secretary John Hutton about the Ministry of Defence s intentions regarding the future of Fremington Army Camp. The camp is used by various branches of the armed services as a residential
NORTH Devon MP NICK HARVEY has tabled written questions to defence secretary John Hutton about the Ministry of Defence's intentions regarding the future of Fremington Army Camp.
The camp is used by various branches of the armed services as a residential training facility, and is convenient for the training facilities at Braunton Burrows which provide a unique sandy environment.
Last time the MoD reviewed training facilities Fremington was assured until 2010, but last week it was stated that the camp would close this year with the loss of 12 jobs.
The adopted Local Plan for North Devon classifies the site as "brown field" and therefore ripe for development.
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Mr Harvey said it was widely recognised that the Ministry was desperately short of money.
But the site was in some senses "land-locked" because of very poor access arrangements, he said. These could prove a major stumbling block to development on the site. The local sewerage infrastructure also lacked the capacity to cope with large scale development.
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Mr Harvey has asked the minister:
* If he will make an assessment of the contribution played by Fremington Army Camp, North Devon, to (a) preparing service personnel for operations; and (b) cadet training?
* Where is the nearest facility to Braunton Burrows, North Devon, offering service personnel an equivalent training experience?
* If he will estimate the travelling time by land from Okehampton, West Devon, to the training ranges at Braunton Burrows, North Devon?
* If he will estimate the disposal value of the site at Fremington Army Camp, North Devon (a) with and (b) without procuring an enhanced access route adequate to secure planning permission for the site's development?
Mr Harvey said: "The local community is entitled to know what the Ministry is planning. On the one hand, the camp's users make a huge contribution to the local economy. And on the other hand, redevelopment of the site would have a profound impact in the parish of Fremington."
The questions should be answered later this week or at the beginning of next week.