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Departmental Property

Volume 474: debated on Monday 31 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what procedure is followed by his Department with regard to the sale of departmental accommodation; what role local consultation plays in this procedure; and if he will make a statement. (196973)

When the Ministry of Defence (MOD) no longer has a need for land and property it is first offered to other Government Departments and public bodies for alternate use. Otherwise, providing there are no former owner considerations under the “Crichel Down” rules, it is usual MOD policy to sell surplus land and property on the open market, in accordance with Treasury guidelines, using competition to achieve the best price. In order to maximise value, we will consult with the local planning authority and other stakeholders to achieve the optimum planning position for the site particularly where there is redevelopment potential, such as for housing or commercial use.

The majority of service family accommodation (SFA) properties in England and Wales were sold to a Annington Homes Ltd. (AHL) in 1996 and then leased to the MOD until they are surplus to defence requirements and are handed back to AHL for disposal. Other surplus SFA in the UK is disposed of in accordance with Treasury guidelines at market value. Where the opportunity exists for a bulk sale of SFA at market value, the MOD will discuss the way forward with the appropriate local authorities, registered social landlords and, in Scotland, the Scottish Executive.