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Armed Forces: Housing

Volume 502: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will bring forward proposals to build new soldier accommodation in (a) Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey constituency, (b) the Highlands and (c) Scotland. (304650)

The Department is in the process of finalising its 2010 Planning Round which sets out its plans for the coming years. It would be premature to provide details but the building of new accommodation in Scotland will be given due consideration in the context of other defence priorities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many houses owned by his Department in (a) Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey constituency, (b) the Highlands and (c) Scotland are rated as grade (i) one, (ii) two, (iii) three and (iv) four. (304652)

Service family accommodation (SFA) is assessed by Standard for Condition (SfC), an objective assessment of the physical condition of the property. Properties are rated from S1fC (the highest) to S4fC (the lowest). The Ministry of Defence (MOD) no longer allocates properties at S4fC, and no family is required to live in properties at S4fC other than by personal choice.

Properties at S3fC are only allocated where no other property is available. The MOD aims to have all UK SFA at Standard 1 or 2 for Condition by 2013, and all properties at S1fC by 2020. It is not possible to provide the information in the format requested, however, current SfC data for Scotland are provided in the following table:

Standard for Condition (SfC)

Number

S1fC

3,102

S2fC

123

S3fC

1

S4fC

0

Total

3,226

In addition, SFA is assessed by Grade for Charge (GfC), an assessment that sets the level of charges that families pay. This assessment takes into account not only the physical condition of the property but also environmental factors, such as noise and proximity to local amenities. It is therefore possible for SFA to have a high SfC assessment but a low GfC. Again, it is not possible to provide the information in the format requested, however SFA in Scotland is at the following GfC:

Grade for Charge

Number

Grade 1

1,116

Grade 2

1,336

Grade 3

481

Grade 4

293

Total

3,226