Congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of State for Defence. It is good to know our country’s security is now in safe hands.
I am writing to you concerning the Defence Review and the future of Arborfield Garrison. The Garrison was scheduled for closure by the previous government, though the date has been delayed. The plan was to send REME to Wales and to seek disposal of the site for housing development and re-development.
The local community is both happy to be host to REME or an equivalent army unit, or to see the disposal of the Garrison land with the re-development of the brownfield sites. It does not wish to see development beyond the current garrison perimeter wire and brownfield sites. Assuming more powers over local planning are delegated to Councils, the local plan will reflect this.
I would be grateful for an indication of the Review’s intentions on the following questions:
1. Is the move of REME to Wales subject to review or is it going ahead?
2. Is a further military use for the Garrison to be discussed, or is the site bound to be surplus to requirements?
3. What is the likely timing of the answers to these important questions, which will be crucial to our local plans?