A COMMEMORATIVE stone has been unveiled to mark a significant milestone in the project to build 917 new homes for service families across Salisbury Plain.

A ‘First Plot’ stone was unveiled at the Army Basing Programme (ABP) construction site at Bulford on Friday, May, 25.

Lieutenant General Nick Pope, deputy chief of the general staff, together with John Leary, major projects director at Lovell the contractor building the homes, unveiled the stone with representatives of the ABP, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and Lovell in attendance.

Work is underway across the Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) to prepare for service personnel returning from Germany in 2019 under the ABP.

The programme constitutes the building of 917 new homes at three sites on Salisbury Plain; Bulford, Larkhill and Ludgershall. In addition, ABP has purchased 100 homes of open market housing at Tidworth.

General Pope said: “The new homes that Lovell are providing on behalf of the Army Basing Programme is testament to the army’s commitment to invest in our estate providing 21st century living and working facilities for our soldiers and their families.”

At Bulford, where 225 new homes are being built, the roads and sewers works are largely complete and over a third of the foundations have been laid.

Mark Duddy, ABP programme director said:“I am really impressed with the speed of delivery and the amount of progress that has been made since the contract was signed in November; we remain firmly on track to deliver the required new homes to enable the units to return from Germany in 2019.

"This project is an excellent example of how we are updating the estate by providing first class living accommodation for our Service personnel.”

Mr Leary added: "Lovell were delighted to host today’s event to mark the commencement of superstructure works on our SPTA scheme.

"We were honoured to welcome Lieutenant General Nick Pope CBE to unveil our commemorative stone, representing a significant milestone at the Bulford site and for the SPTA project as a whole."