HC Deb 10 May 1999 vol 331 c18W
26. Sir Teddy Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in determining the future use of the old and the new ranges in Shoeburyness. [82604]

Mr. Spellar

Progress is being made with respect to the disposal of defence establishments at Shoeburyness, Horseshoe Barracks and the Old Ranges (including Gunners Park). Having been declared surplus to my Department's requirements, they are now being prepared for disposal. A draft Planning Brief has been the subject of a public consultation exercise and was approved by the full Borough Council on 25 February. Marketing of the site will begin shortly. With regard to the New Ranges, DERA is seeking to appoint a new contractor to support the operation of the range. It is intended that this contractor will also work with the Agency to improve exploitation of the range through the introduction of alternative activities to supplement income. Several possible diversification opportunities have been identified. However, as negotiations are currently in hand with preferred bidders, it would be premature to provide details until the remaining contractual issues have been resolved.