THE date for the army to leave Winchester’s Sir John Moore Barracks has been pushed back, a city councillor has said.

Councillor Patrick Cunningham, who is also chairman of Littleton and Harestock Parish Council, told the Chronicle the army training base in Littleton had been given an extension until the end of 2021.

Cllr Cunningham said councillors had been told the Ministry of Defence would be disposing of the site in 2020-2021.

He also questioned whether the disposal would go ahead, saying: “It means it will continue as a training base until at least then (December 2021). My thoughts are perhaps the new minister is calling all these things in and looking at them again.”

When asked to confirm Cllr Cunningham’s claims, a spokesman for the MoD directed the Chronicle to the 2016 Better Defence Estates Review, which only says the site aims to be disposed of in 2021.

The defence secretary at the time of the review was Michael Fallon, who has since been succeeded by Gavin Williamson.

As previously reported, the future use of the barracks, which opened in 1986 to replace Peninsula Barracks in the city centre, is currently up in the air. Last summer Winchester Lib Dems called for the site to be used for a hospital to replace the Royal Hampshire County Hospital currently on Romsey Road.