Rutland County Council’s Full Council is to review a business case for forward funding to deliver infrastructure improvements relating to the future redevelopment of St. George’s Barracks and based on the latest Evolving Masterplan for the site.

Rutland’s December 2018 Cabinet Meeting gave unanimous approval for the current St. George’s Evolving Masterplan and Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) business case to be referred to Full Council on 21 January 2019.

Councillors at the meeting will be asked to support the final HIF business case for forward funding under the national Housing Infrastructure Programme. The HIF submission is based on the latest Evolving Masterplan for St. George’s, which sets out current proposals for redeveloping the site following a decision by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to close it by 2021.

The MOD is required by government to utilise redundant sites in a way that contributes to national Treasury targets for land sales and supports the building of new homes throughout the UK.

The Housing Infrastructure monies, for £30million, would allow essential infrastructure works to be brought about in advance of the redevelopment of St. George’s. This would ensure appropriate and timely investment in infrastructure is put in place, including upgraded roads and junctions, new healthcare facilities and public transport.

The latest version of the St. George’s Evolving Masterplan, on which the HIF submission is based, includes provisions for 2,215 new homes, 14 hectares of business space to support the creation of 2,000 new jobs, new healthcare and education facilities and a commitment to create a 125-hectare country park once areas safeguarded for future mineral extraction can be put to use.

Council Leader Oliver Hemsley said: “Full Council are being asked to support the submission of a business case to Homes England for some £30million of forward funding for infrastructure. The submission would be based on the latest version of the St. George’s Evolving Masterplan and any funding would be used to deliver the critical physical and social infrastructure required to support a new community at St. George’s, as well as supporting existing communities around the Barracks and the wider County.

“If the Council supports the HIF recommendation it is important to note that it is not deciding on the site’s inclusion in our Local Plan and nor is it granting planning permission. These are separate decisions which must and will follow their own due process. If Council chooses not to support the HIF submission the MOD will still have a site which they own outright and intend to bring forward for redevelopment – they have made this absolutely clear.”

Robert Stone, Head of Estates at the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, said: “Rutland’s January Full Council Meeting is an important opportunity for Councillors to discuss the latest version of the Evolving Masterplan for St. George’s and HIF business case. It should be stressed that the Evolving Masterplan is not final but does provide a clear indication of what the MOD considers to be the optimal number of homes for what is a large brownfield site, based on issues of financial viability and sustainability. Rutland’s HIF submission will be important in deciding if funding will be sought to deliver infrastructure improvements around St. George’s but will not determine whether the site itself is brought forward for development. HIF provides an opportunity to invest heavily in infrastructure to meet the needs of people living in Rutland – one of the overriding aims of our partnership with the Council – but the MOD’s national directive is clear and we will seek to redevelop the St George’s site regardless of HIF funding.”

Rutland County Council’s Full Council meeting will take place on Monday 21 January 2019 in the Council Chamber, starting at 7.00pm.

If Full Council approves Rutland’s submission to the Housing Infrastructure Programme, any HIF offer resulting from a successful bid, together with associated conditions, will itself need to be approved by Council at a future meeting.

The latest Evolving Masterplan for St. George’s, together with Report No. 234/2018 (St Georges Evolving Masterplan and Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) Business Case), can be read in full on the Meetings section of the Council’s website: www.rutland.gov.uk/meetings.