HC Deb 24 July 2002 vol 389 cc1105-6W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date the closure of RAF Chilmark was announced; what was the(a) planned date and (b) actual date of closure; what was the (i) estimated and (ii) actual date of disposal; what was the (a) estimated and (b) actual sale value of the site ; what was the (1) estimated and (2) actual cost of remediation; who calculated the estimated sale value of the site and on what basis; what the (x) estimated and (y) actual annual running costs of the site were between closure and disposal; and what the annual costs have been of decontamination work since the announcement of closure. [68927]

Dr. Moonie

The closure of RAF Chilmark was formally announced in September 1992, with a planned closure date of April 1995. The site closed on 1 April 1995.

RAF Chilmark originally comprised separate sites at Dinton and Chilmark. Sales of the various parts were planned to follow clearance of explosive ordnance devices and any necessary decontamination, although it was accepted that final clearance of the entire site could take a considerable time.

The first major sale was completed in July 1995, with seven further sales since. Chilmark HQ site and land at Ladydown are the only parts remaining unsold.

No formal estimate was made of overall sale receipts, since at the time of closure, no firm estimation could be made as to the eventual timetable for sale.

Public consultations Issued Responses required by
The Future of the Defence Diversification Agency Mid February 2001 23 March 2001
The Military Maritime Graves and the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 14 February 2001 14 May 2001
Proposed introduction of the Voluntary Screening Programme following Health concerns in respect of Depleted Uranium 13 February 2001 9 March 2001
Armed Forces Pension Scheme Review 1 March 2001 31 July 2001
Joint Compensation review 1 March 2001 31 July 2001
Second Consultative Document on the introduction of a Voluntary Screening Programme for Depleted Uranium 11 April 2001 4 July 2001
Ministry of Defence Police Quinquennial Review 26 April 2001 Within six months

Receipts from those parts sold since closure total approximately £1.5 million.

No formal figure was prepared prior to the results of the Land Quality Assessments and prior to the introduction of more refined investigatory equipment.

The cost over the first five years since closure of clearing explosive ordnance has been in the region of £1.7 million. A further £371,000 has been spent on preparation of Land Quality Assessments and remediation. Later figures have not yet been compiled.

The values of those parts already sold have been assessed either by consultants to the Ministry of Defence or by the District Valuer. All sales have been at not less than open market value.

The total of the actual holding costs of the site from closure in 1995 to 31 March 2002, excluding remediation works but including the cost of security guarding, is in the region of £1.9 million (excluding VAT). Estimated costs are prepared on an annual basis, and have proved to he very close to the actual costs.

The future cost of any necessary decontamination of the remaining parts at Chilmark HQ site and Ladydown cannot he assessed until clearance of explosive ordnance is complete.