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Defence Estates

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on co-operation with regional development agencies when surplus Defence Estates property is being disposed of; what assessment he has made of the implications for employment and regeneration of such disposals; and if he will make a statement. (95606)

[holding answer 20 October 2006]: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is required to obtain market value when disposing of surplus assets. However, this Department places all surplus land on English Partnership's “Register of Surplus Public Sector Assets” to allow other Government Departments and agencies to express an interest, including regional development agencies. The MOD works closely with English Partnerships, regional development agencies, local authorities and other key stakeholders when considering its disposal strategy. This will normally include an assessment of development and regeneration opportunities through preparation of a planning brief which can be taken forward by prospective purchasers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment Defence Estates makes of local economic development priorities when disposing of surplus property. (95607)

[holding answer 20 October 2006]: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is required to obtain market value when disposing of surplus assets. Defence Estates—the MOD agency with responsibility for the defence estate—works closely, however, with all interested parties to seek the best possible future use for the site. It is our normal practice to work with local planning authorities in disposing of sites and discussions of local economic development priorities should take place as part of that process, including with other Government agencies and Departments on a case by case basis.