8 February 2019
|From Left to Right, Air Commodore Wendy Rothery, Major General Richard Wardlaw, Wiltshire Council Leader Baroness Jane Scott, Lovell Major Projects Director John Leary, ABP Programme Director Mark Duddy|
In another milestone for the Army Basing Programme (ABP), the first service family accommodations in the Salisbury Plain Training Area have officially been completed. On 7th February, WYG attended the official ribbon cutting of one of the first houses in Ludgershall by Baroness Jane Scott, Wiltshire Council Leader, hosted by the ABP, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and Lovell.
The ABP seeks to move all UK military from Germany by 2020. Offering higher stability for Service personnel and families, the move will allow better integration into local communities, greater spousal employment, continuity in education for Service children, and extended access to family support.
To date, the Government has committed £1.8 billion to the programme, with over £1 billion spent in Wiltshire, including infrastructure for 917 houses across Salisbury Plain. This will provide around 1,300 brand new homes for Service families, 2,600 new bed spaces for single soldiers, as well as the construction and refurbishment of more than 250 other buildings such as offices, garages, workshops, and mess facilities.
To help deliver the homes, our team at WYG has provided technical support and associated highways services, in addition to acting as the Purchaser Representative on behalf of the DIO under a contract with housing developer Lovell.
The formal event at Ludgershall was well attended, hosting several delegates from several involved parties, including ABP, Wiltshire Council, Lovell, and the DIO.
James Simonds, Associate Director, who attended, said: “A huge amount of progress has been made since construction start in November 17, with over 50 houses already handed over to the DIO and the remainder delivering ahead of programme on three sites across Salisbury Plain. We are proud of our collaboration with the DIO, which has ensured these homes are being built to a high standard. The team at Lovell has been a credit to the project as well with their construction programme, seeing the completion of up to 26 homes a week.”
By May 2020, the project will have completed all homes at Ludhershall, Bulford, and Larkhill. The first tranche of houses was handed over to the DIO at Builford in December 2018.
The Army and DIO are working closely with local authorities, the NHS, and other governmental departments and local services providers to ensure sufficient availability of housing, schooling, medical, welfare, and dental provision for the service families. To date, over 80 percent of personnel and families have already been relocated since 2010, in time for the Government’s implementation of the Army 2020 Plan.
Housing allocation panels are currently taking place, with all families set to know their address later in March.