Controversial plans for 326 new kennels at St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham have been approved.
The development, which also includes specialist dog training facilities, a veterinary clinic and squadron headquarter officers, means that 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, currently based in Sennelager, Germany, will be able to relocate to North Luffenham by the end of 2017.
The move is part of the Army Basing Programme, which will see more than 5,000 British army personnel plus their families return from Germany to various UK locations this year and return all troops from Germany by 2020. The drawdown is expected to generate savings building to £240m a year.
The plans were submitted to Rutland County Council by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, following extensive public consultation and community engagement events.
But concerns had been raised locally about the potential noise pollution from the extra kennels.
The barracks is already home to 64 Military Working Dogs from the Regiment’s 104 Military Working Dog Squadron.
Defence Infrastructure Organisation project manager, Carl Southern, said: “This is an important milestone in getting the barracks ready for 1st Military Working Dog Regiment. Our aim is to provide the specialist facilities the working dogs and their handlers need to live, work and train at their new home, and ensure any noise impact on the local community is minimal.
“Measures to ensure this important requirement include constructing the kennels within a sound reducing enclosure, effectively a building within a building, with carefully designed openings that limit noise emissions to agreed levels.”
Commanding Officer 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Foreman, said: “With planning permission now approved, the Regiment is a vital step closer to occupying what will truly be world class facilities. Ultimately placing the needs and welfare of our dogs at the heart of this project, the innovative, state-of-the-art kennel design is also sympathetic to, and mindful of, the wishes of the local community.”