Waterbeach: Troops To Leave This Year

23 January 2012, 15:28 | Updated: 23 January 2012, 15:39

Around 900 servicemen and women and their families will start moving away from Waterbeach Barracks this summer.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the news earlier today (Monday).

Following a defence spending review last year, it was announced Waterbeach Barracks will close.

Service personnel and their relatives will begin moving from Waterbeach to RAF Kinloss in Scotland from this summer.

Waterbeach Barracks, which is currently home to the 39 Engineer Regiment, will then be closed by the end of next year.

The land that the barracks is built on is then expected to be sold to housing developers.

Proposals for the land are reported to include plans for a new 13,000 home town.

So far, around 2,500 people have signed a petition against plans for that new town.

There are also calls for existing army facilities that are currently used by residents of Waterbeach, such as a swimming pool and golf course, to remain open once the base has closed.

A campaign group called 'Waterbeach Forward' has also been set up by local officials and residents concerned about the impact of the closure.

Local Councillor James Hockney said: "Waterbeach Forward is aimed at the community working together for the short term and long term future as Waterbeach Barracks approaches its planned closure.

The committee has a broad base with those living in Waterbeach and Landbeach. 

It has representation including members of both Landbeach and Waterbeach Parish Councils, the two local District Councillors and local residents. 

We have also invited the local County Councillor as well. 

My aim is for the community working together and addressing the challenges we face as the Barracks approaches closure and through to the future."

Fellow local Councillor Peter Johnson added: "While I feel opposed to a major development such as 13,000 houses, smaller scale developments on a controlled basis and more sympathetic to the needs and desires of Waterbeach I am very happy to support. 

This could create houses for Waterbeach people primarily, create work for builders and help create wealth for the village."