On Friday 22nd June I convened a meeting about the future of St George’s Barracks. It was attended by a broad range of representatives from surrounding Parish Councils, embracing all those most immediately affected by the potential development, and by others such as councillors, the Ministry of Defence and RegenCo (who are advisors on this sort of project).
The meeting lasted for over two hours and covered every aspect of, and concerns about, the plans. The starting point was that the MOD are going to sell the site so if they simply sold to the highest bidder, the Council would have no influence over how many houses would be built nor what they would look like. It is therefore absolutely right that the Council have taken the initiative to take part in a pioneering Memorandum of Understanding with the MOD which gives local interests the ability to shape the future of the barracks. The main issues of course are quite how many houses there will be and how quickly they will be built. There was a full discussion of the necessary infrastructure along with the impact of quarrying.
This is just the beginning of the process and it will take a while longer for a more detailed plan to emerge. The so-called Masterplan is definitely not a fait accompli. It is no more than a draft concept on which everybody is entitled to offer their view.
At this early stage it is essential to include all relevant Rutland parties in the process, and the meeting undertook to form an advisory group which can work with the Council in is discussions with the MOD, so that any future development will enhance rather than undermine the unique character of the whole county.
As ever I encourage constituents to contact me directly if you would like me to represent your views in my future meetings with the Council and the MOD.