On 19 July 2001, Official Report, columns 334–35W, my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces advised the House that, in parallel with the work being undertaken on the Defence Training Review, the Royal Navy was conducting a comprehensive review of its training estate. Fundamental to this review was the creation of an integrated maritime warfare school, which would deliver all maritime warfare training on a single site at HMS Collingwood, near Fareham. Once the maritime warfare school was established, HMS Dryad, near Portsmouth, would be surplus to requirement and would close. It was envisaged that the transfer to HMS Collingwood would be completed, at the latest, by 2011.I am pleased to announce that an accelerated programme will allow the collocation to HMS Collingwood and the decommissioning of HMS Dryad, to be achieved by 2004. A small enclave, housing operations room simulators which are complex to remove, will remain on the site until the simulators are relocated or replaced, with an expectation that the site will be handed over to Defence Estates by 2007 for disposal in accordance with normal procedures.I have recommended that the proposals for the final closure programme are now put to the MOD Trades Unions for consultation in the normal way.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
(Dr. Lewis Moonie)