Concerns over army relocation plans

First published in News by

CONCERNS about the impact on schools and roads as well as building near a World Heritage Site were some of the issues raised at a meeting held yesterday to discuss plans to relocate 4,300 extra soldiers to Salisbury Plain.

More than 200 people attended the meeting at Wellington Academy, which was held by Wiltshire Council’s Tidworth Area Board to give people more information about the £800m project.

The army plans to bring 4,300 soldiers and their families to the Salisbury Plain area before 2020, and influx of more than 7,000 people.

Although some facilities will be provided “inside the wire”, 1,380 new homes will need to be built in residential areas of Bulford, Larkhill, Tidworth, Upavon and Perham Down.

As part of a six-week consultation which ends on April 1, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has identified several preferred and potential sites for development.

One option involves building on land south of the Packway in Larkhill, which many residents said they would prefer to other areas in the village.

But the meeting heard it would be difficult to get UNESCO to overturn planning restrictions that currently ban construction in the area due to its proximity to Stonehenge.

Councillor Graham Wright, who represents Durrington and Larkhill, said: “You’ve said it might cause a bit of trouble, well my village says let’s cause a bit of trouble - we need people in the right place at the right time.” Concerns were also raised about building on land between Larkhill and Durrington, but the DIO said there would be a sufficient “green buffer” between the two settlements.

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