Plans to expand garrison at fore

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The multi-million pound vision to regenerate the town serving Europe’s largest military base will be at the forefront of a planning blueprint to shape development in a North Yorkshire district.

Vast tracts of land at Catterick Garrison are being earmarked for potential development under new plans which could see up to 4,000 new houses built and 3,000 jobs created in Richmondshire by 2026.

“Homes for heroes” and the regeneration of shops at the base’s town centre are included in the proposals, which form part of Richmondshire District Council’s Local Development Framework.

Council leader John Blackie, said there were several reasons why the focus had fallen on the garrison.

“The Ministry of Defence has a land bank of parcels of land most suitable for developing affordable and normal housing. By focusing on the garrison we want the MoD to look at where some of the land can be released for housing,” he said.

“Amongst those houses will be many homes for heroes - soldiers who have bravely served their nation in the army and want to stay in Richmondshire. A large percentage of our residents’ population are soldiers and their families. We need to make sure there is a provision for homes for them.”

Coun Blackie said the plans would form part of the second phase of the £1bn expansion of Catterick Garrison, which aims to successfully merge the military base with the town’s civilian population.

“The first phase brought Tescos and a number of smaller stores on what was surplus army land, as well as a massive new sports complex. The second phase will see a lot of the 1950s and 1960s small shops and other developments created for the Army raised to the ground and a new development built its place.

Plans were first announced in 2005 for a modernisation and expansion programme which would see the addition of another five battalions to the existing six units to create one of the Army’s Super Garrison sites.

Catterick Garrison’s town centre is being seen as key to the expansion programme becuase it will provide improved facilities for the wider civilian community.

The plans will be out for consultation until October 26.

Richmondshire Council planning chairman Coun Jane Parlour said: “It‘s important we hear what people have to say about it.”