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Saturday, 21 September, 2002, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK
Protest over Army's moors training plan
Army training on moor
The Army has been using Cramber Tor since 1981
Environmentalists are fighting against Army plans to continue training on part of a Devon moor.

The Army has lodged a application to continue using Cramber Tor on Dartmoor.

Its current permission for the area, which does not include the use of live ammunition, expires in November.

However, the Open Spaces Society has condemned the plans, saying the environmental impact of such training has to be independently assessed.


The Dartmoor National Park committee has renewed the licence every 10 years without challenge

Open Spaces Society
The Army has carried out training on the tor, near Burrator Reservoir, since 1981.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, said: "It is outrageous that the public has never been given the opportunity of an independent public inquiry into military training there.

"The MoD took over the area in 1981 and the Dartmoor National Park committee has renewed the licence every 10 years without challenge.

"Now the ministry wants to renew the licence for an unprecedented 20 years.

"This is an extremely long period - military practices could change out of all recognition in that time and the use of Dartmoor could become more irrelevant."

Solider in camouflage
No live ammunition is used
The MoD says Cramber Tor is important to the overall quality of armed forces training.

This is because of its terrain and its proximity to the rest of the Dartmoor training area.

The MoD says because it is not used for live firing, public access is not limited.

It has submitted a full environmental statement with its application.

The application for renewal will be considered by the Dartmoor National Park Authority early next year.


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See also:

25 Mar 02 | England
05 Oct 01 | England
25 Jan 01 | UK
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