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MoD to sell 56 large sites as part of 55,000 homes target

The Ministry of Defence will dispose of 56 sites by 2040 to help meet its target of building 55,000 homes on former MoD land in this parliament.

Defence secretary Michael Fallon said his department will now work with local authorities and industry to support the construction of homes on the sites.

He added that the disposals would provide better value for money for the taxpayer by releasing sites the department no longer needed.

It is estimated that around £140m will be saved over the next 10 years from the land sale.

“A better defence estate will deliver better value for money for taxpayers,” he said.

“By releasing sites we no longer need, we can help build the houses that we do need.

“I can confirm that the Ministry of Defence now has firm plans to achieve its target to release sufficient land to build up to 55,000 houses in this parliament.

“My department will work with local authorities, the devolved administrations and industry, as well as our personnel, to deliver that, supporting construction and infrastructure jobs, and boosting local economies.”

The MoD has already revealed plans to sell 35 “costly” defence sites earlier this year – the 56 sites will be in addition to this.

The department owns around 1,000 sites, of which 300 were described as “very large”, and Mr Fallon confirmed the 56 sites will be selected from these 300 sites.

On the site locations, he said they would be where homes were most needed, such as the South-east.

On housing affordability, he added: “We do not entirely control the planning process, but with regard to affordable homes, it is for the local authority to specify exactly what proportion of the estates those homes should have.”

Mr Fallon said the MoD’s defence estate costs £2.5bn to maintain, with 40 per cent of its built assets more than 50 years old.

He added that over the next decade the government will invest £4bn into improving the MoD’s infrastructure and modernising its accommodation.

“By locating our servicemen and women together with capability, we will provide better job opportunities for their partners and more stable schooling for their families, and increase their ability to buy their own home,” he said.

“We have purposely focused on sites that will support recruitment and retention, giving our personnel and their partners greater certainty and confidence to put down roots in local communities.”

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