Army revamp plans get positive response

Jill and Brian Smith with Anne and Jack Watson look at redevelopment plans for Kendrew Barracks'Photo: Alan Walters EMN-151118-165052001

Jill and Brian Smith with Anne and Jack Watson look at redevelopment plans for Kendrew Barracks'Photo: Alan Walters EMN-151118-165052001

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Plans for a £40m redevelopment of Kendrew Barracks went on display on Tuesday with people largely giving the proposals their seal of approval.

The Army and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) revealed the plans last week to redevelopment parts of the base, near Cottesmore, to make it “fit-for-purpose”.

The proposals include new living accommodation, leisure and catering facilities, a larger and updated gymnasium and vehicle workshops.

Some buildings that were formerly used as hangars when the site was RAF Cottesmore will be transformed for garaging and vehicle maintenance.

Lt Col Richard Chesterfield, station commandment for Kendrew Barracks, said: “This is a demonstration of the Ministry of Defence investing in Kendrew and cementing that we’re a core site and we’re going to be here into the future. This is good news.”

And on Tuesday, the Army and the DIO were at Cottesmore Village Hall for members of the public living near the base to see the plans and have their say. About 40 people attended during the four-hour session.

Diane and George Shepherd, of Market Overton, went along because they were curious and wanted to “get a feel for what was going on”.

Mrs Shepherd said: “I think it’s a positive move. The personnel need the accommodation and they need the facilities.”

Brian Smith, who lives in Harrier Close, Cottesmore, said his main concerns, which were an increase in traffic and whether the views from his home would change, had been alleviated by attending the event.

He was also concerned that the number of personnel on site would grow substantially but was assured by Lt Col Chesterfield that numbers would only grow by between 10 and 20.

Mr Smith said: “Looking at it now, those concerns have gone away and I can see what they’re trying to do.”

Currently Kendrew Barracks is home to 2 Royal Anglian Regiment and 7 Regiment Royal Logistics Corp.

The 18 Army Education Centre Group, currently based at St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham, will move to Kendrew to make room for troops returning from operations in Germany.

Requirements manager for the DIO Tim Quinnell said it was intended planning applications would be submitted to Rutland County Council by December, with a view to work starting in Autumn of next 
year.