Permission given for Dartmoor military exercises
THE MILITARY has been granted "temporary permission" to continue using Cramber Tor on Dartmoor as a training area.
Following a change in the law the Ministry of Defence needed to apply for planning consent to continue using the 848 hectares around Cramber for military dry training.
The MoD had applied for permission indefinitely but were granted permission for 40 years – subject to conditions.
Campaigners feared the "peace and tranquility" of the wilderness could be destroyed if the arrangement with the MoD was put on a "permanent" basis.
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Conditions were imposed to prevent training in August, on Sundays or Bank Holidays.
The number of training days a year was also limited to 40 "man-training days" with groups no bigger than 35.
Cramber Tor is used by city-based units including 3 Commando Brigade, 42 Commando, 29 Commando, HMS Drake, HMS Raleigh and 155 Wessex Transport Regt.
Bill Hitchins, chairman of Dartmoor National Park Authority, said: "In granting a temporary permission we have balanced the need for military training to support and equip our armed forces with the long-term purposes of the National Park. We have imposed a set of conditions which will enable the military to train and for the National Park Authority to monitor and control the environmental impact of that training.
"Whilst accepting that the case is currently made out for training at Cramber Tor, the Authority has not granted permission in perpetuity.
"The temporary permission granted means that there is a long term stop date, and allows an opportunity for formal re-assessment of the case for continued training at that date.
"I sincerely hope that there will come a time when the military no longer needs to train on Cramber Tor as it hopefully means we live in a more peaceful world. Until that time we will continue to work with the military to minimise their impact and ensure the public's enjoyment of this special place is not spoilt."