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Nine jobs will go as Fremington army camp closes

By This is Exeter  |  Posted: May 29, 2009

Army cadets at Fremington camp last year

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FREMINGTON army camp will close this autumn, with the loss of nine jobs, the army said today.

Accommodation at the Second World War training camp is due to close on October 1 and the infrastructure at the site will be sold.

The camp, which had undergone a review by Defence Training Estates South West was said to be "past its sell by date" by South West Army spokesman, David Harris.

He said: "The Fremington site is worn out and has come to the end of its economic life.

"Buildings at the camp are 1940s stock — old, wooden huts that are very expensive to maintain. It's just not worth pumping any more money into."

The camp is largely seasonal, with the majority of occupation taking place in the summer months.

The site currently hosts 12 employees who work for the DTESW management partner, Landmark.

The staff are currently under consultation and, while three employees may be able to relocate to RAF St Mawgan in Cornwall, the remaining nine will lose their jobs.

Fremington councillor Rodney Cann, said: "My first reaction is that I am very upset to hear about the job losses.

"We'll be sad to lose this camp — there was always something interesting and exciting happening there.

"However, my major concern is that there is around 50 acres of development land there and there will be a lot of pressure for massive residential development — you could fit an awful lot of houses into that space.

"Fremington has already had more development for a town of its size than anywhere else in North Devon and this could have a major impact on its infrastructure — we would certainly need a new school."

Although the camp and accommodation will be sold off, troops will continue to train on Braunton Burrows using Okehampton army camp as their base.

Lt Col James Porter, commander for DTESW, added: "This relocation will enable us to reduce the number of permanent beds in the region while retaining the ability to surge bed numbers in the summer. Job losses are regrettable but the overall benefit for troops and training is a positive benefit."

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    Hugh, N.Ireland  |  July 19 2009, 1:20PM

    our cadets from N.Ireland really enjoy going over to this camp it has a very friendly feeling to it and the local people are great,I can't see how moving troops from okehampton to the training area in braunton burrows will save money,I think the governement need to put a bit more thought into it and look at the map.

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    Phil, UK  |  July 16 2009, 1:05PM

    Why not allocate the land as a luxury campsite with bring your own caravans & tents with excellent onsite facilities and entertainment areas and pool. This way local people will have local jobs.

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    George Webb, Ripon, N.Yorks  |  June 13 2009, 8:52AM

    Another big mistake by a government,known only for its disasterous decisions,and a desire to stay in power at all costs to this country.

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    P Reeder, East Sussex  |  June 12 2009, 10:24PM

    ware are the wooden huts when I was stationed there in the 60s the hut were made of a breeze block ?

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    mal, barnstaple  |  June 05 2009, 6:39PM

    to lose my job is a shame but i think the children who use our camp all through the summer and xmas will be devistated ,over the last 5 years i have had a very good job there and i will miss the place. The boys will miss the good food and humer we offer at the camp , sad times very sad

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    Adam Rogers, Fremington  |  June 05 2009, 6:34PM

    It's terrible that the camp is closing. There will be redundancies, but they will try and find a way to screw the people out of their money. I for one am a casual and won't receive redundancy as I have been working in the kitchen on and off for 4 years. I'm going to miss working there as it has been a good laugh and is convenient as it's just on my doorstep. Bad times. Bad times.

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    fremmi camp., barnstaple  |  June 05 2009, 4:34PM

    i cant believe they have choosen to sell the camp, its goin to make such a different for the army cadets and not in a good way! the place is full of so many memories its such a shame!!! :(

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    Anon, Chulmleigh  |  June 04 2009, 12:38PM

    I agree with Sad Times. My daughter is an Army Cadet and really enjoys her weekend camps at Fremington. The Cadet Corps of Drums also trains there so where will they go now?

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    Mal Gammon, Perth Western Australia  |  June 03 2009, 5:16AM

    I have fond memories of utilising the resources of the army camp as a youth club, going to discos and playing my first senior cricket there when Fremington started up a cricket team in the mid 1960s. It was also used as a short cut to the quay if we could get away with it. I hope the land is put to good use with open space maintained for youth activities and natural reserves created for all residents to enjoy.

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    nameless, barnstaple  |  June 03 2009, 12:05AM

    9 jobs they say ! there are 10 staff in the kitchen alone 1 its all lies and money