Major plans to transform Sir John Moore Barracks after closure being discussed

Major plans to transform Sir John Moore Barracks after closure being discussed
Soldiers marching with full gear
The training camp was due to close next year

Proposals to build hundreds of homes on the site of the Army training camp in Winchester are being discussed.

Winchester City Council and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), part of the Ministry of Defence, are working together to develop a scheme for the future of Sir John Moore Barracks.

The training camp was due to close next year, but it was given a temporary reprieve in 2019 and the MoD will now leave the site in 2024, as part of the Defence Estate Optimisation Programme.

Talks have begun on the future of the site with a current proposal for 800 houses being explored.

The scheme could also meet the city council’s vision for a park and ride north of the city, assisted care living and the re-use of existing facilities – the finer details have not yet been revealed.

An MoD spokesperson said: “We are working with Winchester City Council on a number of proposals for the future use of the site.

“We will be submitting proposals for the site under their Local Plan review and are currently considering a mix of development options, including the retention of some of the existing facilities.”

The scheme was discussed at Littleton and Harestock Parish Council last month, with Cllr Kelsie Learney, the city council’s cabinet member for housing and asset management, stating that there had so far been no submissions from public bodies to reuse the barracks.

During the meeting a concern raised about the infrastructure on Andover Road and Kings Barton to allow for the increased traffic that will occur as a result of the plan for the barracks.

The plan is set to be reviewed by the city council in the spring.

City and parish councillor Patrick Cunningham said: “The parish council would prefer to see a mixed development which would integrate and include these various different things.

“There is such lovely and viable leisure facilities there the parish council wished to see that return for the use of the community.”

As previously reported, the future use of Sir John Moore Barracks, which opened in 1986 to replace Peninsula Barracks in the city centre, is currently up in the air. Previously the Winchester Lib Dems called for the site to be used for a hospital to replace the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, currently on Romsey Road.

There was also hopes that the land could become a science park, and this idea was endorsed by the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, and Winchester MP Steve Brine also spoke of the need for the land to be used commercially.

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