A PUBLIC meeting in Tidworth at which the army showed its latest plans for the basing of an additional 4,278 soldiers, 1,181 spouses and 2,134 children to Salisbury Plain met with almost unanimous approval.

Ministry of Defence town planner David Alderson gave an outline of the new plan and said it had been shaped by consultation with both the public and statutory bodies such as English Heritage.

Chairing the meeting on Wednesday, Wiltshire councillor Christopher Williams said he “welcomed the MoD’s transparency in the plan” and said it was “the way things should be done”.

The main bone of contention prior to the meeting had been a proposal to site 540 new homes in the Larkhill area.

English Heritage objected to new homes south of The Packway, as did many residents in Durrington.

But the plan has now shifted the homes to the north of The Packway, which has met with approval from local people.

The AS90 Artillery firing point will be moved further away and a new primary school will be built adjacent to the quarters.

There were concerns expressed about the increase in traffic that would be generated, but the meeting heard that journey distances would be small, new cycle routes were being planned and soldiers would be encouraged to cycle to work or car share.

Durrington councillor Graham Wright said: “Well done to everyone. Consultation has worked; we just wanted to keep the identity of our village.”

In Bulford, 227 quarters will be built on a site off Bulford Road and a second site in the north of the garrison has been identified for 20 to 30 low density officers’ quarters to be constructed.

In Tidworth there would be no new construction as additional quarters required would be built in Ludgershall and the MoD is looking to purchase 100 houses from the private sector at the Riverbourne Fields development.

Additional quarters would be built in Ludgershall by demolishing the existing Corunna Barracks complex and building 300 new homes on the site with land for a new primary school, public open spaces and local facilities.

Kiwi School in Bulford would be expanded, as would local secondary schools.

Wiltshire Council will address the need for additional medical and dental facilities.

The proposals still need to go through the usual planning application process.