The government’s Army Basing announcement in March 2013 advised of around 4,300 extra Service personnel moving to Wiltshire by the end of the decade. They will be accompanied by their families, bringing the total number of additional people estimated to be moving to the area to 7,600. These plans will require additional levels of infrastructure and services to be provided by Wiltshire Council.
The MOD has since reviewed the figures as the relocations draw nearer and now expect the net addition of Service personnel to total 4,000. Accordingly the expected net increase in population will be a little over 7,000.
October 2016 Update
Planning permission for all MOD development within its camps and for Service Family Accommodation (SFA) which will be sited adjacent to them have been granted. The DIO has appointed Lovell – part of the Morgan Sindall Group as their preferred bidder to construct all the SFA at Larkhill, Ludgershall and Bulford.
Hill (Housebuilders) are currently building 322 SFA units in Tidworth for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. Although managed under the Army Basing Programme they are not strictly an Army Basing requirement, but are needed to rationalise MOD housing across the Salisbury Plain area. They will allow MOD to release various temporary lettings in the area.
Planning for reprovision and expansion of St Michael’s school is proceeding well, with the aim of submitting full planning permission towards the end of this calendar year and the construction site could be in operation as early as April 2017. A byway (Durrington 29) will require to be relocated as it currently lies on the site where the school is to be built. The local town council has been consulted on this proposal and action for a court hearing to grant the change is in hand.
Planning for the other schools funded by the MOD under the s106 agreement is commencing shortly.
Negotiations with Ludgershall Town Council, the MOD and Lovell are underway to provide a new community (health and wellbeing) facility. The aim is to make this available in early 2020, when the SFA build programme will have completed and all the houses are occupied.
Somme Road Cycle Path – Open for Use
The new cycle path has been in use since the surface was completed in early summer. The final touches (lighting and landscaping) are due to be completed by the end of October and it is hoped to arrange an official opening in early November. Further cycle paths are being incorporated into the SFA builds to enable safe and healthy transport options for Service personnel and their families, and to minimise car journeys.
Official Return of 5 RIFLES
5th Battalion The Rifles (5 RIFLES) signalled the completion of their move from Paderborn in Germany to Bulford by Sounding the Retreat on 26th September. The Band and Bugles of The Rifles gave their guests a rousing performance of both modern and traditional tunes concluding with ‘Sunset (bugle call)’. The salute was taken by both General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the General Staff, and the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Troughton.
Other distinguished guests included Baroness Scott of Bybrook, OBE, Leader of Wiltshire Council and the Mayor of Salisbury, Derek Brown and many senior retired officers from the regiment. Also attending were soldiers and officers of the Battalion with family and friends.
Completion of the LGA Peer Review
Between 26th and 29th September, the Local Government Association reviewed how well Wiltshire Council has managed the impact of the ABP in its planning for new infrastructure and service delivery for the additional 7,200 military community settling in Wiltshire by 2020. It also examined its stakeholder engagement. The peer review was extremely positive and the team felt Wiltshire Council’s management of the programme should be regarded as an example of best practice and shared with other local authorities in due course. Wiltshire Council acknowledges the enthusiastic input from a variety of partners including the emergency services, schools, NHS, the MOD and chairs of the area boards.
Kiwi School Official Opening
The extension of Kiwi School in Bulford was officially opened on 10th October. The ceremony was attended by special guest Richard Jones from this year’s Britain’s Got Talent. This is the first piece of infrastructure that is funded by the MOD as part of the section 106 agreement for the SFA build.
- Late 2016: The ‘behind the wire’ construction programme begins
- Mid-late 2017: The SFA construction programme is expected to commence
- Summer 2018: St Michael’s Primary school build is due to complete
- By August 2019: Additional school capacity required will be completed
- Summer 2019:Majority of Service personnel are due to move to Salisbury Plain.
For more information visit: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/communityandliving/mci-new.htm