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MoD denies rumours of Kneller Hall sell-off

Twickenham MP Vince Cable had said 'something fishy is going on' after a whistle blower told him plans were afoot to dispose of the Whitton mansion, which is home to the Royal Military School of Music

Kneller Hall, in Whitton (By Jonathan Cardy (Own work UK freedom of panorama) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons)(Image: Jonathan Cardy)

The Ministry of Defence has quashed rumours it plans to sell off Kneller Hall, in Whitton.

Twickenham MP claimed a whistle blower had told him the government planned to offload the brick mansion in Kneller Road, which is home to the Royal Military School of Music. He feared the site, a stone's throw from Twickenham Stadium, could be sold for housing.

His suspicions were heightened when a scheduled meeting with the commandant of the Corps of Army Music was cancelled on what he said were orders from Army superiors.

"Something fishy is going on here. We have had several scares in the past about the MoD trying to move the RMSM and sell off Kneller Hall and the community rallied round. Until now they have not pushed the issue," he said.

"I suspect that the recent burst of property inflation has turned Kneller Hall into a very valuable piece of real estate and the MoD is keen to cash in the benefit.

"I am, as before, making the case that the RMSM is a valued part of the local community; that it is valuable for forces recruitment to have a presence locally; and that the community will strongly oppose an inappropriate development on the site."

However, an MoD spokeswoman dismissed rumours of a sell-off as speculation, saying: "We currently have no plans to dispose of Kneller Hall. We keep all our sites under review, to make sure they meet the needs of Defence in the most efficient and cost-effective way."

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