May 25 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, March 14, 2013
AN Army base redevelopment project has received the unanimous backing of councillors.
An application from the Ministry of Defence to building living accommodation for 175 soldiers, including officers and junior ranks, at Carver Barracks was unanimously approved by Uttlesford District Council’s planning committee yesterday (Wednesday March 14).
The building work will take place at sites across the Wimbish site, which is home to 101 and 33 engineer regiments, and will provide rooms for 125 junior rank personnel, 16 junior officers, four senior officers and 30 senior non-commissioned officers.
Included in the plans is the provision of a plant room, 191 car parking spaces and landscaping works.
A spokesman for the MoD said: “This application for single living accommodation is a long-standing plan to address a shortage of that type of accommodation at Carver Barracks.
“At the moment 101 and 33 regiments so alternate six-month tours of duty and we have been forced to source rental accommodation outside the barracks to cover this need.
“The new building will help soldiers remain on site and also help the MoD save costs in the long-term.”
Uttlesford’s planning committee passed the plans unanimously, although concerns were raised about government cuts to the size of the Army and the impact on the long-term future of the new buildings at Wimbish.
Maria Tourvas, planning officer for the council, said: “There is an overarching national need for schemes like this. These are very special circumstance and we recommend its approval.”
“The buildings would be well-used as there are no plans to make personnel cuts at the Wimbish barracks.”
Cllr Bob Eastham voted in favour of the proposal, but expressed dissatisfaction in the building’s design, describing it as “horrible”.
“I have got a lot of time for the soldiers and officers there, but is that the best they can do in terms of design? This sets a bad example,” he said.
Cllr Keith Mackman refuted those objections, and said: “I take the points but soldiers aren’t too bothered about surroundings.
“Soldiers need a premises that is fit for purpose. At the moment the accommodation isn’t and this meets the needs.”