Defence Estate (Bicester)

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The Ministry of Defence continues to rationalise its estate and dispose of surplus sites such as RAF Bicester, where a preferred purchaser has been selected and disposal is expected to be completed by the end of the financial year. We have been preparing the Graven Hill site for disposal by submitting a planning application for new homes and commercial redevelopment.

Photo of Tony Baldry Tony Baldry The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

I appreciate that a lot is happening with the MOD at Bicester, with surplus land being sold and investment in new logistics and new warehousing, which is good news, because it will mean new opportunities and new jobs. Will my right hon. Friend assure the House, however, that while all that is going on, he will ensure that the existing work force are kept properly informed about what is happening and what is being planned?

Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

I agree with my hon. Friend that that is extremely important. I believe that we will do what he asks, and if we do not, I am sure he will bring it to our attention. Since I first went to the Ministry of Defence nearly three years ago, he has been a doughty exponent of the need for the development of commercial and residential estates on old MOD sites. I pay tribute to him for his work on behalf of his constituents.