Ministry of Defence exodus goes on with Foxhill and Warminster Road about to close
The Ministry of Defence is continuing its exit from Bath with the closure of two sites expected by the end of the month.
The Government department has confirmed that its sites in Warminster Road and Foxhill will be vacated by the end of March. The Ensleigh site is not expected to be fully empty until 2018.
The MoD announced its departure from Bath back in 2011, with its 2,600 city-based staff moving to Abbey Wood in Bristol. At the time the Government said the move would save the MoD £40 million.
An MoD spokesman said: “Both Warminster Road and Foxhill are in the final stages of being vacated and this is expected to be completed by the end of March. Ensleigh will be vacated in three stages; the first part has been vacated, the second part will be vacated by December 2013 and the last part is expected to be vacated in 2018. Preferred bidders have been selected for each site and negotiations are ongoing.”
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Bath and North East Somerset Council hopes to use the sites to help meet its housing targets. In concept statements produced for the three sites the authority wants to accommodate around 1,300 new homes across the sites, as well as new schools, and community facilities.
Developer Skanska Residential has already bought a small part of the Ensleigh site at Lansdown and revealed plans to build 45 homes.
At Foxhill the council has said it wants to see up to 700 homes and 2,000 square metres of employment space, as well as a new primary school, a health care centre, open spaces and new bus services.
People in Foxhill are now being invited to share their views on how they want to see the area developed.
Foxhill Futures, a community-based group, is hoping to galvanise the views of residents to help create a regeneration plan for the area, which can be used in conjunction with the redevelopment of the MoD site.
The group is holding its second public meeting this Saturday at the Community Centre in Hawthorn Grove between 3pm and 5pm.
Local groups, planners, councillors and representatives from Curo will provide information and opportunities for people to ask questions.
Foxhill Futures project manager, Nigel Dann, said: “This is a critical moment for Foxhill, building a strong voice for all the community is a critical next step: whichever developer gets the site needs to engage with the whole community. Equally, the community needs to develop a clear vision and commitment to ensure that its needs are effectively met by the redevelopment.”