Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford has written to the Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, calling for clarity on a promise that was made by Scotland Office Minister, Lord Duncan, in relation to the future of the Ministry of Defence land at Forthside.
During a recent meeting with local representatives at Old Viewfoth, Lord Duncan indicated that the MoD land at Forthside would be donated to Stirling Council and the contaminated land would be treated as part of the UK Government’s contribution to the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal.
However, during an exchange in the Scottish Parliament last week, Economy Secretary Keith Brown made clear that he was under the impression that this promise no longer stood.
Mr Crawford has since written to the Defence Secretary, calling for clarity on this.
In his letter, he said:
“You will be aware that the Forthside area plays an important role in the business and development plan being considered for the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal. The land in question must therefore come under the control of Stirling Council in order for these plans to proceed.”
Commenting, Bruce Crawford said:
“I am seriously concerned that the UK Government are potentially set to renege on this promise to Stirling. The controversial closure of the MoD site at Forthside has provided an opportunity for Stirling Council to use this land for development as part of the City Region Deal bid.
“For our local authority to be put in a position where it may have to purchase the land from the Ministry of Defence and then spent many thousands of taxpayers’ pounds on treating the contaminated land is frankly unacceptable – particularly as it has already been indicated that this would form part of the UK Government’s contribution to the City Region Deal.
“I hope that the Defence Secretary gives this serious consideration and that the UK Government come to their senses about what type of contribution the Stirling area needs.”
Stirling Council Leader, Councillor Scott Farmer added:
“Our meeting with Lord Duncan a few short months ago was positive and very constructive – especially around issue surrounding MoD land at Forthside.
“I am therefore disappointed to learn that the ongoing negotiations between the UK and Scottish Governments have indicated that the offer of treated Forthside land being donated appears to no longer be an option.
“This area plays an important development role for the City Region Deal and it is vital that, once fully decommissioned, the Ministry of Defence cleans the land for use and hands it over for the benefit of local communities.
“I too will be seeking urgent confirmation from the Defence Secretary and Lord Duncan on this matter which is crucial to Stirling’s development aspirations.”
Read Bruce’s letter to the Defence Secretary here: