Two open events were held at an Army barracks so local people could find out more about plans to extend the regiments based there.
The event was held at St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham on Wednesday last week by the 1st Military Working Dogs Regiment. The 1st regiment is currently based in Sennelager, Germany but will move to North Luffenham over the next two years, eventually making Rutland its long-term home.
Members of the public, and particularly those living in the surrounding villages of North Luffenham and Edith Weston, were invited to learn more about the regiment’s plans to build a new block of kennels at the base to accommodate the dogs moving there.
The base is currently home to 46 dogs belonging to 104 Military Working Dog Squadron but by 2017, there will be 322 kennels.
There was also a live demonstration from handlers and their dogs.
Military Working Dog Regiment provides the only deployable working dog and veterinary capability within whole of the British Army. Dogs and their handlers provide vital detect and protect capabilities for troops on the ground and have had recent tours of duty in Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland.
Rutland County Council has been helping to prepare for the regiment’s arrival since early 2014.
Chief executive of the council Helen Briggs said: “Residents will know that 104 Military Working Dog Squadron has been based at North Luffenham for some time. This represents a big move for the rest of the Regiment and, indeed, the local community.
“Additional squadrons will begin arriving in Rutland from August 2015 and we’ve been working hard to make sure this is a smooth transition for our servicemen and women, and their families.
“This open event was a great opportunity for local people to come and learn more about the regiment, the important job they do and changes that are planned to the base – particularly the construction of a larger set of kennels to house the dogs.”
Capt Wes Quigley, from the 1st Regiment, said: “There was a really good response to our community consultation events.
“There must have been about 200 people there during the two presentations, which took place at 5pm and 6.30pm.
“We know that there have been concerns from the local community about noise pollutions and we sought to mitigate those concerns. I think we were able to put people’s minds at ease.
“There was a presentation from the design construction firm as we would like to get this right from the outset. The kennels are designed to cut off the noise pollution at the source.
“I think the demonstrations were well received and overall I feel the day went well.”
He said representatives from the regiment were due to meet again with Rutland County Council officers later this month before a planning application for the new block is submitted for consideration.