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Barracks could be sold to developers
11:50am Tuesday 22nd January 2013 in News
A HISTORIC barracks in Colchester could be closed and sold off for housing.
Army chiefs are investigating whether to close Goojerat Barrack, home of 156 Provost Company Royal Military Police.
If the changes are approved the Redcaps will move into Merville Barracks, the home of Colchester’s other soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade.
Concerns have been raised a joint facility at Goojerat Barracks, used by the MoD Police, the Redcaps and Essex Police, could also close in the move.
Colchester Garrison Commander Colonel Mike Newman said: “Colchester Garrison hugely values and appreciates the strong partnership we have with Essex Police.
“Work is being carried out to explore the feasibility of moving 156 Provost Company Royal Military Police inside the footprint of Merville Barracks.
“A key consideration is providing facilities to enable continuing close co-operation with Essex Police and we are fully engaged with the Chief Constable about how this could be achieved.
“This is a long-term project on which no decisions have been made.”
Colchester’s former Garrison, which was replaced by Merville Barracks in 2008, is being converted into a 2,600 home development.
If closed, it is expected Goojerat will also be sold off to become another housing development.
The discussions are taking place at the same time as Colchester’s final Ministry of Defence police officer is being made redundant.
Acting Chief Insp Jim White said: “We are disappointed with the loss of MoD police.
“They have provided a good service over the years.
“It means we are taking on extra areas of responsibility and we will be responsible for investigating what happens in those areas.
“What has also been good at Goojerat is the shared policing facility betwen the MoD, RMP and Essex Police which has worked well.”
A Garrison spokesman said discussions are at an early stage and all options remain open.