St Athan Inquiry

St Athan Inquiry - Whats happening?

The Inquiry is over the Compulsory Purchase Orders for St Athan developments

Cynefin y Werin will be objecting at the public inquiry (thought to be in January) using the case submitted on the planning applications.

The Inquiry will cover the St Athan aerospace business park and technical college (DTC) developments with housing towards Llanmaes, and associated highway proposals.

Local people are particularly objecting to new roadway with housing development for DTC personnel on the green fields towards Llanmaes, saying this should go within the camp area. The farmer and owner of Batslays farm is also objecting.

Other people can still join in (at the Inspector’s discretion) and should best get a short letter in before the pre-Inquiry meeting on 3rd Nov. It could be a written statement,

Pre-Inquiry Meeting over St Athan developments and CPOs 3rd Nov

The pre-meeting called by the Inquiry Inspector, Emyr Jones of the Planning Inspectorate
is being held in the Council Chamber in Barry's Civic Offices on Tuesday 3rd Nov. at 10am.

People who might wish to contribute at the Inquiry can contact Sarah Manning (01443 335617

or sarah.manning@wales.gsi.gov.uk) to check in for the pre-meeting.

The principal official Adrian Edwardsn (01443 335618) is helpful and advises that people can join objecting to the CPOs till near the end of October, don't need to be owners/users of the land, and can raise the wider issues concerned with the whole area of the developments.

E-mail goes to Adrian.Edwards or sarah.manning@wales.gsi.gov.uk.

WAG's Statement of Case which ranges very wide - challenges

to any part of that will be valid (eg. claims to implement economic and social well-being of Wales, as quoted above).

WAG statement of reasons

Worth having a lookat if the link works or write to me and I will send a copy
The Welsh Assembly Government and R Morgan have denied that they have been involved inthe planning of this scheme and there has been no discussion in the welsh assembly as they claim it is a Government issues so they can't or rather won't do anything about it!
This is the biggest PRIVATISATION ever! The entire military training machine is moving to Wales! And it is to be run by METRIX including arms dealers RAYTHEON - QINETIQ and other war profiteers!
Plaid Cymru have sold out WALES for a few cleaning jobs...this job relocation not job creation!!

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3.1 The Scheme has grown out of three objectives:

(a) to minimise and redress the anticipated detrimental effect upon the Welsh economy and upon the local communities near St Athan of the consequences of the threatened closure of RAF St Athan (December 2000);

(b) to seek to build upon the opportunities presented by the availability of aerospace facilities and local expertise in that industry to create an international aerospace “centre of excellence”; and

(c) to achieve regeneration of the vacated areas of RAF St Athan in a comprehensive manner in accordance with the policies of the Welsh Assembly Government.

3.2 To achieve these objectives the Welsh Development Agency (“WDA”) initially worked with Defence Aviation Repair Agency (“DARA”) to retain a viable future in Wales for DARA by re-locating it to a purpose built facility with WDA creating a commercial aerospace centre of excellence alongside it.

3.3 Early in 2001 an option was investigated to locate this new facility at a greenfield site adjoining Cardiff International Airport, but this proved unviable on technical, spatial, planning, environmental and cost grounds. It was then decided to locate the entire project at St Athan and negotiations to acquire the necessary land progressed from late 2001.

3.4 On the 14 August 2003 the WDA acquired a 125 year lease (with an option to acquire the freehold of all except the runway and directly related areas) of some 293 hectares of the former airfield and the nearby sportsfield and golf course at RAF St Athan from MoD. The residue of the RAF base (approximately 40 hectares), known as West Camp, was retained by MoD and is exclusively occupied by the Armed Forces.

3.5 The acquisition formed part of a legal agreement made in 2003 (known as the Composite Agreement) and reflected a unique partnering arrangement between MoD and the former WDA, with the support of the Welsh Assembly Government, to promote three principal elements at St Athan known as Project Red Dragon :

(a) a state-of-the-art aircraft maintenance facility (Super Hangar);

(b) the rationalisation of MoD’s requirement for infrastructure at St Athan; and

(c) the acquisition of most of the St Athan site by the WDA (with a view to redeveloping and regenerating the aerospace park in the longer term).

3.6 To achieve this the Composite Agreement envisaged the phased handover of land with vacant possession from MoD to WDA as rationalisation of the DARA business plan proceeded and fast jet work re-located to the Super Hangar (completed 2004). In order to enable the handover to proceed smoothly some areas were leased back to MoD on terms varying from 15 to 125 years depending on the phased anticipated departure date of all MoD occupants. The golf course was leased to the RAF St Athan Golf Club Ltd. As part of this process all the RAF elements of MoD on the site re-located into East Camp at the same time as DARA re-located into the Super Hangar. The Welsh Ministers have possession of the remainder subject to a small number of buildings and land areas let on short leases or tenancies pending redevelopment.

3.7 Through the Defence Training Review (“DTR”) MoD is seeking to provide a more streamlined and efficient military technical training programme for the three armed Services via a Public Private Partnership (“PPP”) arrangement. In October 2002 interested parties were invited to bid to deliver six UK wide specialist training streams which were arranged into two Packages of training.

3.8 WDA identified this major public / private sector partnership as a valuable complementary activity to the aerospace park and, in parallel with the negotiations to acquire the St Athan site WDA, in conjunction with DARA and private sector partners, applied in early 2003 for inclusion in the bidding process.

3.9 Between January and September 2003 a WDA consortium, (in association with DARA and others) successfully completed the Stage 1 bidding process for the training package relating to aviation and mechanical engineering (Package 1 of the DTR). The Consortium was subsequently selected by MOD to proceed to the next stage of the competition but this was not ultimately progressed as one of the companies in the consortium pulled out in early 2004.

3.10 However, the Welsh Assembly Government and the WDA pressed MoD to promote St Athan to bidders as a possible site for defence training. In February 2005, Metrix approached the WDA to discuss bidding for both packages of defence training at the St Athan site. From May 2005 onwards, WDA worked closely with the Metrix team to promote the bid and demonstrate that the key stakeholders, including local government and education agencies, could deliver the necessary infrastructure and support. Metrix submitted bids for both Packages at St Athan in October and November 2005.

3.11 On 21 July 2006 the Welsh Ministers granted MoD an Option Agreement for alternative 25 year leases to create their project. On 17 January 2007 Metrix was selected as preferred bidder for Package 1 and provisional preferred bidder for Package 2 at St Athan. Affordability issues with both packages (a major issue in the case of Package 2) led to a period of seeking an amalgamated solution capable of delivering significant overall economies of scale and consequent cost savings which proved unsuccessful in identifying a workable solution acceptable to MoD and the Treasury.

3.12 MoD decided to proceed only with Package 1 and, in the light of that decision, the Welsh Ministers have agreed in principle to replace the Option Agreement with a New Agreement. Under the terms of the New Agreement, the Welsh Ministers will transfer parcels of land to MoD in exchange for MoD transferring the freehold interest in the ABP to the Welsh Ministers and making a compensating payment based on a fair and reasonable sharing of value, benefits, costs and risks.

3.13 The terms of the New Agreement will make provision (inter alia) for common planning strategies, the provision and funding of surveys and infrastructure works‘, and the transition arrangements required to relocate existing MoD users. The Welsh Ministers will commit themselves to use all reasonable endeavours to achieve acquisition of required property interests using compulsory purchase powers if necessary, but the New Agreement will acknowledge that the exercise of the powers, duties and discretion of the Welsh Ministers cannot be fettered or in any way limited by that commitment.


The only department having a comment and whole heartedly supporting this is DCELLS!

10.1 Shame on The Department for Children Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS) has been working closely with the Department for the Economy and Transport (DE&T), MoD, Metrix and other partners to support the development of the DTC and ABP.

10.2 The development will create training, employment and career development opportunities

for the unemployed, newly qualified, young people and workers seeking new employment.

It will create new opportunities for local businesses and stimulate economic growth. The ABP

will also attract inward investors creating the need for additional highly valued skills for knowledge based employment. This will substantially increase the number of apprentices and offer local employment to Welsh graduates.

10.3 The development will provide existing Higher Education and Further Education Institutions with opportunities in training and research including curricula development,

instructor delivery in new learning techniques, links to industry on an international scale, increased opportunities for commercialism and the potential for the creation of Centre’s of Vocational Excellence

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