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Howes that! Army out. Is there a silver lining?

Connected?

11th Feb 2013: the (almost) all-powerful CCC Executive have one of their all-too-common secret meetings – this one about a “strategic” (and cheap) property deal which is in a “key site for
improvements to the road network in that area”
.

5th Mar 2013: the MoD announce the closure of Canterbury Howe Barracks. Cllr Gilbey says “I think this is a great opportunity for the city council” – not the City, or District you’ll notice, but the council. Cllr Perkins said the site was “key to Canterbury’s transport and infrastructure problems”.

Hmmm, I wonder.


Executive Minutes 11-02-2013

160. Confidential business relating to the acquisition of a freehold investment for a property in Canterbury. The Executive Members considered the report of
the Director of Resources which set out the details
of the potential acquisition of the freehold investment in
Canterbury and sought authority to conclude a purchase on the terms
reported.

The Council had already
negotiated the terms of the acquisition with the vendor. The
options were therefore –

(i)        
the Council to confirm its approval of the
acquisition of the property on the terms set out in the
report;

(ii)       
the council could decide for whatever reason not to
proceed with the purchase.

RECOMMENDED (to Full Council)
– That the Property Services
Manager, in consultation with the Head of Legal and Democratic
Services, be authorised to agree terms for the acquisition of the
freehold investment of the premises detailed in the confidential
report and to authorise the Head of Legal and Democratic Services
to conclude a purchase accordingly.

Reasons for recommendations

The
valuation of the property justifies the purchase price as a
strategic acquisition.

The
acquisition is justified on the grounds that it helps meet one of
the Council’s objectives in securing a key site for
improvements to the road network in that area.


Canterbury Howe Barracks closure ‘an opportunity’

The closure of Howe
Barracks in the shake-up of the UK’s armed forces is an opportunity for
Canterbury, the city council has said. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed the base will be “disposed of” when personnel are redeployed.

Some 600 people are set to move out when the 5th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland moves to Edinburgh in 2014. Members of the council’s Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups said it was a “great opportunity”.

Leader of the Conservative-run council John Gilbey said:

“Much as we will very much miss the soldiers and all the relationships
that we’ve developed over the years, I think this is a great opportunity
for the city council.”

Liberal Democrat leader Alex Perkins said the site was key to Canterbury’s transport and infrastructure problems. He said:

“There is obvious sadness at the closing of the [Howe] barracks, but we are left with a huge opportunity.”

Mr Perkins called for the co-ordinated development of the
land with infrastructure such as schools, medical facilities and public
open space, adding:

“What we must avoid is just building housing estates. We have to build a proper community.”

Howe Barracks has housed soldiers from the South East since the 19th Century. Other South East bases to be affected are the Folkestone home
of Headquarters 2nd (South East) Brigade, which will be vacated when it
merges with another brigade, and Pirbright barracks in Surrey, which
will become home to the 1st Battalion, The Welsh Guards.

bbc online 6th Mar 2013

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  1. Look on the bright side. At least CCC can now reject building plans for the Herne Bay golf course and neighbouring greenfield site thanks to the MoD’s release of much needed housing stock and new build potential ideally linked to an existing infrastructure.That way everyone wins, with the exception of Tesco and a local jailbird.That’s if you think they’re listening?