Royal Anglian Regiment families to get new homes

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

260 new homes to be built in Bulford, Wiltshire, for soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, the Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox announces.

The brand new family homes, known as the Canadian Estate Project, will cost £46m and the first 60 will be ready for occupation by August next year, with the whole project expected to be completed by the end of December 2012.

Andrew Robathan, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, said:

Having seen the old accommodation at this site - which is virtually uninhabitable - I was determined to push this project through despite the current financial pressures.

We owe our Service personnel and their families the best possible support, and that includes providing them with good quality accommodation that is fit for the 21st century.

1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, known as the Vikings, are currently based at Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Pirbright, Surrey, but will move to a new, £110m, purpose-built barracks at Bulford in 2011.

The Vikings returned from a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in April and are likely to deploy again in 2012.

The homes will be built by Bovis Lend Lease and project-managed by Defence Estates (DE). The design sees sustainable houses surrounding a boulevard and village green, with speed-controlled roads and safe play areas.

David Olney, Deputy Chief Executive of DE, said:

Living accommodation remains an essential part of our commitment to looking after our Service personnel and their families. This new project will provide high quality Service Families Accommodation that will endure for many years to come.

Geoff Minshell, head of Bovis Lend Lease Defence, said:

We have devised a scheme that will create a safe, sustainable community where families will want to live.

The Canadian Estate Project will be delivered by DE by means of a stand-alone prime contract procurement strategy. The new homes will comprise 195 three-bedroom properties and 65 four-bedroom houses. Roads, infrastructure and associated landscaping will also be provided. The estimated cost of construction is £46.1m.

The new houses will meet MOD accommodation scales and will be Standard 1 for condition and Grade 1 for charges. They will also be constructed to achieve Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4, meet the latest building regulations and be consistent with the UK low-carbon transition plan.

The project also includes a number of houses to be constructed to be readily adaptable for occupation by the severely disabled. Properties will have wheelchair access to all rooms, level entry showers, and the ability to accommodate hoist equipment for bathing, and a through floor or stair lift, without the need for subsequent structural alterations.