Land at RAF Henlow has been released to build new homes Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

Potential to deliver over 10,000 homes across seven sites

A new partnership has been announced by Homes England and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to develop land being released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

One of the first seven sites named as part of this agreement is RAF Henlow in Central Bedfordshire.

The partnership combines will help to unlock development constraints, create greater certainty and speed up the construction of homes.

Nick Walkley, Chief Executive of Homes England said:

“This partnership provides another great opportunity to intervene in the market – and the sites will contribute towards the 300,000 homes needed each year to meet the growing demand.

“Through the Memorandum of Understanding we will be able to work with local authorities and communities to progress schemes faster and more efficiently providing homes where they are needed.”

The land will remain in the ownership of MoD throughout the project whilst Homes England prepares the site for development through planning and investment with governance from DIO.

Graham Dalton, Chief Executive of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation said:

“The combined expertise will ensure sites no longer needed for Defence can be developed into much needed housing while delivering value for money.”

Land not bid for by council

A spokesperson for Homes England said that partnership will be working alongside local authorities but there wasn’t a bidding process for the authorities to enter to release the land.

They added that it is difficult to say how long this project will take as they have only just signed the agreement. But it understands that from a local community point of view that there will be questions about the development and Homes England will release more information when it is available.

Land at RAF Henlow is mentioned in Central Bedfordshire Council’s (CBC) Local Plan for mixed use, specialist employment. CBC did not respond when asked how many homes it expects to be built on this land now that it has been released.

The remaining six sites are Claro & Deverell Barracks in Ripon, North Yorkshire; MOD Site 4 in Stafford; MDPGA Wethersfield in Braintree, Essex; Swynnerton Training Camp in Stone, Staffordshire; Prince William of Gloucester Barracks in Grantham, Lincolnshire and Chetwynd Barracks in Chilwell, Nottinghamshire.