'More work' needed on MoD Salisbury Plain military homes plan

Soldiers from the British Army take part in a training exercise on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire.
Image caption Nearly a third of the British Army will be based in and around Salisbury Plain by 2019

"More work" is needed on transport plans for 1,300 new troops' homes on Salisbury Plain, according to Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

About 4,300 soldiers and their families are to move to Wiltshire from Germany and UK bases in the next six years.

At a public meeting on Wednesday some residents expressed concerns about local roads coping with the influx.

But Paul Mannering, from the DIO, said the plans "will not go through without the appropriate considerations".

By 2019, the Ministry of Defence is planning to base around 28% of the British Army in and around Salisbury Plain.

To cope with the influx of soldiers and their 3,000 dependents, the army is proposing to build 300 new homes at Ludgershall, 540 at Larkhill and 277 at Bulford.

'Railroaded through'

Graham Wright, Liberal Democrat county councillor, said he was happy with the army's proposals but other residents said their concerns about "schooling and transport links" had not been answered by the DIO.

But Mr Mannering, the DIO's requirements manager, said their concerns would be "taken on board" to ensure the plan was not "railroaded through".

He said: "The plan is to develop communities, not houses - and the transport plans, there's more work needed.

"But there's a full planning process to go through yet and opinions do count."

Residents have until 17 June to comment on the plans before they are handed to Wiltshire Council in July.

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