12 Ministry of Defence (MOD) sites will be released as part of the department’s drive for more efficiency Defence Minister Mark Lancaster has announced.

In a move that will see £500M generated from the sale, the land will be used to build around 15,000 new homes as part of the government’s target to build 160,000 homes by the end of the decade.

The 12 sites that will be sold are Kneller Hall in Twickenham; Claro and Deverell barracks in Ripon; RAF sites Molesworth and Alconbury in Cambridgeshire, and Mildenhall in Suffolk; Lodge Hill in Kent; Craigiehall in Edinburgh; HMS Nelson Wardroom in Portsmouth; Hullavington Airfield in Wiltshire; RAF Barnham in Suffolk, and MOD Feltham in London.

The government plans to reinvest the money generated from the sales back into defence spending.

The sale of the sites will be the first step in the MOD’s plan to reduce the size of its built estate by 30%. Its estate spans one per cent of all UK land and covers 452,000 hectares. As part of that plan, the Ministry has committed to generating £1 billion through land sales during this parliament and contributing up to 55,000 homes.

Defence Minister Mark Lancaster said: “By streamlining the Defence estate, we will ensure that it better meets the needs of the Armed Forces well into the future. Defence has the strongest incentive to become more efficient; with every pound we make by disposing of excess land reinvested into a defence budget that keeps Britain safe.

We are also making an important contribution of 55,000 homes to the wider government housing targets. Every acre that we can free up will ensure that more people have the opportunity to own their own home.”

More sites are due to be announced in due course with a full list published in the Footprint Strategy later in the year.