Vince Cable slams Government’s ‘sneaky’ decision to sell off Kneller Hall

MP Vince Cable has slammed the government's "sneaky" decision to sell off a historic military school of music in Whitton.


Kneller Hall, built between 1635 and 1646, has been the army’s musical home since 1857 and is a grade II listed building.

The government has now confirmed it will sell the estate, which has fallen into a state of disrepair, to provide land in support of the their ambition to build 160,000 homes by 2020, despite a local petition against the sale gathering almost 3000 signatures.

Sir Vince, Twickenham MP, claims the Government hoped this week’s announcement would go unnoticed amid the drama of Brexit.

He said: “Sneaky: I wasn’t told. And there was no communication with local residents.

“The sale has been “on the cards for a long time because the building is in terrible shape and no longer considered safe and fit for purpose.

“The MoD tell me they don’t have the money to do the necessary work.

“The problem now is to find a buyer who has deep enough pockets to refurbish the Hall and, then, can make a success of a hotel or conference centre.”

Details of the sell-off were tucked away deep in a Government document.

Vince Cable said that Ministry of Defence ‘insiders’ had told him that a proposed move to Portsmouth was “very unsatisfactory” and there is, as yet, no home for the museum.

“I am seeking as soon as possible a debate in Parliament to get the MoD to explain its thinking,” he added.

Kneller Hall houses the Royal Military School of Music which trains musicians for the British Army’s 22 military bands.

It is home to the school’s Museum of Army Music and local police cadets use the facilities also.

The Lib Dems says they will “continue to oppose the in the council chamber and our colleagues across the political spectrum will be making the case in the Palace of Westminster, both in the Commons and The Lords.”


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