HC Deb 12 July 2001 vol 371 c586W
Mr. Hoban

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria are used to determine which MOD sites not used by the armed forces should be sold. [3637]

Dr. Moonie

It is our policy that the Defence Estate should be no larger than necessary to meet the operational and training needs of the armed forces. To this end, the overall size of the estate is kept under continual review, and rationalisation of our landholdings and the early sale of surplus property remains a key priority. Normally, surplus sites are identified through estate rationalisation studies, as a result of changing operational requirements or from changes in policy. Before a site is offered for sale steps are taken to ensure there is no alternative defence use.

In the future, the rationalisation of the estate will be shaped by the emerging 'core sites' approach which is currently being developed as part of our Estate Strategy ("In Trust and On Trust: A strategy for the Defence Estate") which was launched on 7 June 2000. It is the intention that 'core sites' will become the focus for future development and investment.

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