Major new training facility planned for Faslane

Plans for a major development at the Faslane naval base will be discussed by councillors next week.

Detailed proposals for the new Submarine Training Facility (SMTF) have not yet been drawn up, but the Ministry of Defence has started a community consultation.

The new building would be near to the A814

Argyll and Bute Council has received a Proposal of Application Notice which includes site plans for a five-storey building on a 0.52-hectare site, within the secure area near to the main A814 and next to the submarine rescue centre which was given planning permission last year.

On Wednesday councillors will consider a report by head of planning, housing and regulatory services Angus Gilmour which makes no recommendation other than asking councillors to ‘provide such feedback as they consider appropriate’ for the MoD before it makes a full planning application.

The report says the planning agent cites Faslane as the second biggest, single-site employer in Scotland, directly employing around 6,500 with many more thousands dependent on the base for jobs through the extended supply chain.

By 2020 all Royal Navy submarines are due to be based at Faslane and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation says this will see the number directly employed at the base rise to 8,200 due to investment work including this training facility.

“The proposed SMTF will provide essential training for the Royal Navy which will deliver the new generation of submarines,” says the report to the council’s planning, protective services and licensing committee.

“As the building would be developed on sloping ground there would be some split level elements to the building.

“While the external materials are still under consideration, the agent has advised that this is likely to feature a mixture of brickwork and cladding materials.

“The roof is likely to be a standing seam with single ply membrane in the flat areas for rooftop plant.”

Councillors in Lochgilphead next Wednesday will be asked to consider the proposed building in relation to the authority’s planning policies, especially:

  • Landscape and visual impact
  • Roads Issues, in particular parking
  • Private sewage and water capacities
  • Requirements relating to the MoD safeguarding zone
  • Drainage
  • Economic Impact

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