Concern over Deepcut barracks housing plan in Surrey

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A plan to build more than 1,000 homes on the site of the controversial Deepcut barracks will stretch local resources, residents have warned.

The land at Princess Royal Barracks has been judged suitable for housing and will be sold off by the Ministry of Defence when the Army leaves in 2013.

Residents said the scale of the scheme could place a strain on schools, surgeries and the surrounding roads.

The council said the number of planned homes was based on extensive research.

Deepcut, where four soldiers died in shooting incidents between 1995 and 2002, has been the home of the Royal Logistics Corps since 1993.

Bullet wounds

The council said the Army's departure provided an opportunity to build a "new rural village community" with up to 1,200 homes.

Resident Paul Deach, of the Deepcut Liaison Group, said: "From day one we have always said we are not against development, but we want to make any development sustainable."

Surrey Heath Borough Council's consultation on the housing plan ends on Friday.

Brian Townley, the council's head of built environment, said: "The policy seeks to achieve a balance between providing enough housing to deliver a good range of supporting facilities, such as a new school, while also protecting the rural nature of the village."

Ptes Geoff Gray, of Seaham, Co Durham, Sean Benton, 20, of Hastings, East Sussex, James Collinson, 17, of Perth, and Cheryl James, 18, of Llangollen, Denbighshire, all died of bullet wounds at the training base in separate incidents.

Inquests into the deaths recorded a verdict of suicide in Pte Benton's case and open verdicts for the other three.

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