The Tory Government has reneged on a promise to hand over the land at MOD Forthside to Stirling Council once the Army Barracks have been decommissioned.
Scotland Office Minister, Lord Duncan, suggested that the land would be decontaminated and then passed over to Stirling Council at nil value as part of the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal.
Following a parliamentary question and answer session in Holyrood, Economy Secretary Keith Brown suggested that he did not feel that Tory Ministers intended to uphold this promise following further negotiations.
In response, Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford wrote to the Defence Secretary, calling for clarity.
Mr Crawford has since received a response from the Ministry of Defence that suggests the land will be valued and sold – with the cost of decontamination taken into account – rather than being passed over to Stirling’s local authority at nil value.
The land at Forthside is included as part of a wider development for the City Deal in Stirling and would include housing.
Commenting, Bruce Crawford MSP said:
“Following my question to Economy Secretary Keith Brown in Holyrood, it became apparent that promises that had been made to Stirling by Tory Ministers had be reneged on in terms of MOD land at Forthside.
“I wrote to the Defence Secretary, calling for clarity on this, however the wording of the Minister’s reply appears to provide confirmation that this is indeed the case – which is disappointing.
“Whatever the outcome, it is important that the City Region Deal Heads of Terms are signed off as soon as possible so that we can focus our efforts on delivering transformational change to local communities.”
Stirling Council Leader, Councillor Scott Farmer said:
“This is deeply disappointing for Stirling – it would appear that the UK Government is set to renege on such a crucial aspect of the City Region Deal.
“MOD Forthside is vital to Stirling’s aspirations and it is vital that this land is made fit for use and passed over to the local council so that it can be developed in line with these aspirations.
“The tone of this letter appears to undermine what we have been promised and I would urge UK Government Ministers to think carefully before backtracking on this opportunity for our local communities.
“Negotiations for the City Region Deal have been positive and constructive, but this episode does not suggest good faith from our counterparts in Whitehall who are supposed to be working with us and for the good of the local Stirling and Clackmannanshire area.”