New Forest East

DEFENCE – DEFENCE ESTATE – 7 November 2016

Dr Julian Lewis: Is the Secretary of State content that any historic buildings among the estate that is being disposed of will be suitably protected and preserved for the nation’s heritage? Following on from his recent testimony to the Defence Committee’s inquiry into the Army and SDSR, is he satisfied that our relatively small forces will have the ​capability to regenerate in time of war if they do not have a sufficiently large defence estate to occupy in times of emergency expansion?

[The Secretary of State for Defence (Sir Michael Fallon): I note what my right hon. Friend says about some of the historic buildings sometimes comprised inside these sites. Obviously, we need to be careful to make sure that military heritage is preserved wherever possible. Sometimes that is not within the direct ownership of the Ministry of Defence; it has already passed to the trusteeship of the relevant museum or whatever, but I certainly note that point. There are a number of sites in the list today where that occurs and about which we may hear later this afternoon. On regeneration, the strategy being published today does not so far include the training estate where, to regenerate forces in time of war, as my right hon. Friend said, we would seek to rely on the training facilities that we have, and we are currently looking carefully at those.]