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Clive Barracks closure 'will not affect RAF airfield'

North Shropshire | News | Published:

The closure of Shropshire's Clive Barracks will not affect the training carried out by RAF Shawbury, it has been confirmed

RAF officials said the airfield they use in Tern Hill, near Market Drayton, will not be affected by the closure of the army barracks.

RAF Shawbury uses the airfield as a relief landing ground and for helicopter training by the Defence Helicopter Flying School.

It comes weeks after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced it will close the barracks, which is home to the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, to make way for hundreds of new homes.

The base is one of 10 sites across the country that will be disposed of by the MoD to generate extra money and provide land for up to 7,000 homes.

Squadron Leader Kim Leach, corporate engagement relations officer at RAF Shawbury, said: "The airfield at Tern Hill is a relief landing ground and is used for helicopter training by the Defence Helicopter Flying School, RAF Shawbury.

"The airfield will not be affected by the closure of Clive Barracks.

"The airfield at Tern Hill is an important training site for the Defence Helicopter Flying School as it allows us to spread our training footprint away from RAF Shawbury and it also provides clear airspace to train our aircrew."

The MoD, which revealed the site in Tern Hill has the potential to provide land for up to 600 houses, has said the money from the sales will be ploughed back into defence spending.

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It said the vast majority of the sites will be sold in time to contribute to the Government's target of 160,000 new homes by 2020 and generate a total of £140 million.

Clive Barracks opened in 1916 and has been home to the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment since 2007 when the battalion moved from Fort George, Inverness.

News of it being sold was described as a shock by the outgoing Market Drayton mayor Councillor Roy Aldcroft, while North Shropshire MP and former Northern Ireland secretary Owen Paterson spoke of his disappointment.

It was revealed yesterday that Mr Paterson will launch a new task force to ensure that the closure and redevelopment of the barracks run smoothly after it closes in 2020.

He wants to reduce the impact of the closure on people in the area.

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