MORE than 900 army homes on Salisbury Plain were given the green light today as part of plans to bring thousands of troops home from Germany.
It is the culmination of nearly three years of talks to move 4,700 soldiers and their families to Wiltshire by 2020.
The 917 houses in Bulford, Ludgershall and Larkhill will cost £250m and represent the biggest chunk of the building planned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
More money will be spent developing garrisons on Salisbury Plain and the MoD is in talks to buy a further 100 finished homes from a developer in Tidworth. Extensions to Avon Valley College and Wellington Academy are also in the pipeline.
Three applications, all heard on the same day, were decided separately with 227 houses set to be built at Double Hedges, Bulford, 246 near Corunna Barracks, Ludgershall and 444 north of The Packway, Larkhill.
Concerns were raised over stray golf balls from the nearby course at Larkhill. David Matthews from Stonehenge Golf Centre said balls could hit homes 100m away and said he feared complaints in the future. But the MoD insisted a buffer zone between the course and housing was big enough to protect homes from stray balls.
Cllr Fred Westmoreland said plans to open up army sports pitches to the public were “a work of fiction” and said Salisbury Road leading out of Bulford was narrow and “totally unsuitable”.
“I’d hoped the military might have used this opportunity to improve how to get out of their camp,” he said.
Land for two new primary schools was set aside, and all the plans include road improvement work, open spaces and play areas.
Wiltshire Council’s strategic planning committee approved all the schemes unanimously