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Royal Clarence Yard, Gosport

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is the cost of relocating the activities currently undertaken at the 9.5 acres of land at Royal Clarence yard, Gosport, which are currently scheduled for retention by the Ministry of Defence; [13099](2) if his Department will release for sale the 9.5 acres at Royal Clarence yard, Gosport, which is currently occupied as a furniture store. [13098]

This is a matter for the chief executive of the Naval Bases and Supply Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from D. J. Stevens to Mr. Peter Viggers, dated 5 November 1997:

I am replying to your two Questions to the Secretary of State for Defence about the release for sale of land at Royal Clarence Yard. Gosport and the cost of relocating the activities, as this falls within my area of responsibility.
The 9.5 acre enclave retained by the MOD within Royal Clarence Yard primarily provides security for the oil pipe and working space to operate and service the facilities on the Oil Fuel Jetty. The waterfront provides essential berthing space for minor vessels while the major jetties within the Naval Base are being refurbished. It is not feasible to relocate these tasks in the area and therefore no figures on costs of relocation are available. In addition, the enclave provides car parking for entitled RN personnel quartered in Gosport but working on the other side of the harbour. The cost effectiveness of this was accepted by Minister (AF) (in the previous administration) as part of the submission to release the major part of the Royal Clarence Yard for sale.
Only 1·4 acres of the enclave are occupied by the furniture store. If this area of the site were released for sale, it is estimated that it would add no more than £300,000 to the sale value of Royal Clarence Yard. The cost of relocating the furniture store on Crown owned land on the Gosport peninsula has been investigated and found to be in excess of £500,000. The alternative of leasing a commercial storage facility in the area is estimated at in excess of £50,000 a year. In the current financial climate neither option would be cost effective for MOD or the taxpayer.
The retained enclave will be the minimum required to meet MOD's needs and if future opportunities were to allow the MOD to relocate any or all of the above facilities in a cost effective manner. further areas would be released for sale.