IT is difficult to understand the thinking of the Northumberland Park committee (NNPA) behind its decision, as reported in last week’s Gazette, to accept the advice of their planning department not to approve an application by the MoD to provide some essential training facilities prior to their posting abroad on active service.
It supports this decision under vague, flimsy, largely unsubstantiated and dubious reasons that further information is needed.These reasons are similar to those used some 10 years ago when the presence of the military was questioned by both the NNPA and the CNP.
The decision is all the more difficult to comprehend due to the fact that this is the centenary year of the range during which the MoD and tenant farmers have proved beyond doubt that they are more than capable of looking after the area to the high standard required by current legislation.
Experience is now showing how flawed the original decision was when it was decided to include the area within the NP and that NP presence is not necessary for this standard to be allowed or even maintained.
It is therefore becoming more and more obvious that NP status should be removed forthwith, this allowing both sides to peruse their allotted tasks.
The MoD must train HM Forces without interference from outside bodies with no experience of what is really needed.
For the NP, this action should benefit them greatly because it should release funds, easing their depleted financial situations due to government cuts imposed on them, over which they were proposing to sue.
Mr L Farrell, Otterburn