CHESTER MP Chris Matheson has urged the Government to reconsider its decision to close Dale Barracks.

The planned sale of the Liverpool Road barracks and subsequent impact on the "recruitment footprint of the Army in the North West" was once again raised by Mr Matheson in the House of Commons.

Back in 2016, the Ministry of Defence earmarked 56 sites for closure nationwide in a bid to save £140 million and create space for 55,000 new homes.

The sale of Dale Barracks would result in all army units moving to a single site north of Preston.

Mr Matheson, who has run a longstanding campaign to save the barracks and retain a military presence locally, raised the issue directly with Defence Minister Jeremy Quin MP.

He said: “The decision to site the entire Army presence in the North West at Weeton barracks, putting all our eggs in one basket, will damage the operational and recruitment footprint of the Army in the North West.”

“Were the Government to retain the Dale barracks in Chester, that would provide easy access to the southern part of the North West, the north part of the Midlands and North Wales, so will the Government please look again at the decision to sell off the Dale barracks and let them retain their historic role in the City of Chester?”

In response, Mr Quin stated that no actions or disposals will take place before 2027.

He said: "We continue to speak to local stakeholders about alternative uses for the site, but I assure the honourable Gentleman that no disposal will take place before 2027 at the earliest."

Mr Matheson added: “The Army's presence in Chester is incredibly valuable to our city and the surrounding area.

"Chester has been a garrison city for centuries and I want that to remain. Be assured I will not sit back and wait until 2027 to keep fighting for the retention of Dale Barracks in Chester."