RAF Halton to close completely by 2022

The Ministry of Defence is to close RAF Halton within six years the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

Following November’s announcement that RAF Milton would be one of 91 military sits that the MOD would be disposing of by 2040, the Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon has confirmed.

Sir Michael confirmed the move in a letter to Aylesbury MP David Lidington.

The decision is part of the MOD’s ‘Better Defence Estate’ Strategy, tasked with getting the most from the UK’s defence estate and contributing to the government’s housing target.

Mr Lidington expressed his disappointment at the news and questioned the business logic of the decision.

He commented: “I completely understand the reasons why the Ministry of Defence is seeking to rationalise its estate, concentrate its activities into fewer bases and realise the value of surplus land. I can understand too that from an RAF point of view it makes sense to co-locate the training of RAF officers and other ranks in one place.

“However, I find the business case for closing RAF Halton to be unconvincing. In particular, there will be a significant cost to providing new facilities at RAF Cranwell and the RAF has never in the past found a way in which to dispose of its significant liability in respect of Halton House.

“I’ve already spoken to the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon to make clear my concerns and to ask him to provide additional evidence to justify his decision.

“I’ve also pressed him for a commitment that if the closure does go ahead, the Ministry of Defence will do everything that it can to help civilian employees who may face redundancy to find alternative work.”

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