Michael Fabricant has welcomed the decision to approve planning
permission to transform the Whittington Barracks at Lichfield into a new
headquarters for the Defence Medical Education and Training Agency
(DMETA). "I have been lobbying the Secretary of State for Defence, Des
Browne, hard to secure the long-term future for the barracks ever since
the Government announced its plans to close the Army Training Regiment
in Lichfield. I know that other West Midlands bases including Cosford
and Stafford were in the frame for the DMETA base so the final choice of
Lichfield was excellent news" says Michael Fabricant. "But objections
from the Government Office for the West Midlands could put paid to the
Barracks’ new role.
"I will now intercede with the Government Office so they can have no
doubt that I support the Ministry of Defence’s plans for the Barracks at
Whittington and that I will not countenance any objection from them.
The long period of doubt over the future of the barracks was causing a
blight on local house prices and making planning for organisations like
the primary school in Whittington very difficult. What we need now is
certainty over the Barracks’ future.
"The influx of doctors and nurses to our area will be good news for
businesses in Lichfield and will help stimulate the local economy.
"Meanwhile, I will continue to work with the Trustees of the
Staffordshire Regimental Museum to ensure its long term funding and a
Changes to Whittington Barracks to accommodate DMETA include the
construction of 55,000 square metres of new buildings and the
refurbishment of existing buildings.