Emergency funding has been provided to families at a Norfolk army barracks after it was found that some of them were living in "substandard accommodation".

The news that families of soldiers based at Robertson Barracks at Swanton Morley, near Dereham, have had to be supported in a joint council effort was revealed at a parish meeting.

The troops are from the 1st the Queen's Dragoon Guards.

At a Swanton Morley Parish Council meeting, its chairman Roger Atterwill said in a report that some homes at Robertson Barracks were "poorly insulated, have mouldy bathrooms and electric storage heaters that are decades old and very inefficient to run".

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"This makes the cost of energy very expensive and impacts the other aspects of their household budgets, such as everyday shopping," said Mr Atterwill.

Dereham Times: The 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, who are stationed at Robertson Barracks in Swanton Morley until 2028
Mr Atterwill reported that he, alongside Breckland Council and Swanton Morley Parish Council "managed to help struggling families receive some emergency funding and specific help with food".

"I am grateful to the leader of Breckland Council, Sam Chapman-Allen, for his support with this and to this end we, along with senior managers from the housing team will soon be meeting with representatives from the welfare team to develop more targeted support utilising funding from the council and Armed Forces Covenant," Mr Atterwill added. 

This news comes amid plans to close the barracks by the end of the decade.

As part of Breckland Council's efforts to build 16,500 homes in the district, the barracks has been targeted to be redeveloped into a new community, and a plan to build 2,000 homes at the former RAF base is currently under consideration

Dereham Times:
The Breckland Council's draft local plan was discussed at its cabinet meeting on May 13. 

Commenting on the meeting, Mr Atterwill said that the plan "takes a very pragmatic approach to this site." 

He added: "It recognises that a lot of detailed work around transport links, utilities, green infrastructure and good quality design will need to be produced before a realistic assessment of housing and employment use can be determined.

"I will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders to try and get the best possible outcome for the current local community and importantly the needs of future generations," he said.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Defence said: “We are committed to the welfare of service personnel and their families, and the defence secretary has made improving the standard of military accommodation a personal priority.
“That is why we are investing an additional £400m between last summer and next spring, in addition to extra investment announced by the prime minister in April, to improving military housing that is available.

"This will include activity such as damp and mould improvements to about 5,000 properties. 
“Circa 96pc of service family accommodation meets or exceeds the Decent Homes Standard, and any homes below this standard should not be allocated to families.”