During Questions for the Secretary of State for Defence at the House of Commons on Monday, North Wiltshire MP James Gray spoke out on behalf of many of his constituents who are facing eviction from their Annington Homes properties at MoD Lyneham. Before the debate, Mr Gray stated:
“It is very unfortunate that tenants occupying ex-services personnel accommodation owned by Annington Homes and leased by the MoD have been served notices to quit. I have been working alongside other Wiltshire MPs to support tenants and avoid homelessness. Together we have facilitated a dialogue between Wiltshire Council, Annington Homes and the MoD in the hopes that the properties in question would be bought by the local authority with tenants in situ”.
In the House of Commons Chamber, Mr Gray further added:
“The hundred or so families at Lyneham in my constituency who are facing eviction from Annington homes will very much welcome the Minister’s remark a moment ago that he is to extend the eviction notice period until next March. They will also be glad that there are to be negotiations with Wiltshire County Council about this, but is the Minister aware of the further complication that those homes get their utilities from within the base? Annington Homes has so far said that that would preclude them from being sold. Will he instruct officials to look into what can be done about that particular circumstance?”
The Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, sympathised with Mr Gray’s question, responding that:
“I hope we may have found a technical solution that would enable base-dependent sites to be dealt with to allow sales to social housing providers if the parties agree. Our advice is that the transfer of supply can generally be effected relatively rapidly, and we are willing to share this advice with Annington, which will need to be satisfied that it can perform connections to mains networks safely and efficiently with tenants in situ.”