WIT Press

All That You Leave Behind: The Territorial Relationship Of Heritage Defence Sites And Military Bases


Free (open access)





Page Range

257 - 265




296 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


A. R. Harrington


The decommissioning of military bases is typically difficult and emotional. In the shadows of more evocative issues, such as the potential for job loss at the local level, stands the more nuanced status of the territory on which the military base is located. When a country decides to leave a foreign military base there is a distinct rupture in the territorial relationship. Domestically, however, there are many more complications. At the very practical level, the territorial relationship in the case of heritage defence sites invites a host of legal questions, from complying with the terms of the territorial lease or other property-granting mechanism used by the national government to assume control over the area to strategies for land management, heritage preservation and environmental conservation. This paper will explore the practical elements of the territorial relationship of defence sites. The goal of this paper is to foster a full understanding of this relationship so that those involved in the planning of defence sites at all levels will understand the many dimensions of this undertaking and how to address them in a positive manner. Keywords: defence sites, redundancy, military bases, environmental impacts, property rights. 1 Introduction The issue of decommissioning or making redundant military bases and defence sites has come to the forefront of military, political and economic practice in recent years. This is so regardless of what side of the Atlantic one is discussing. With both the UK and the USA announcing troop drawdowns and fundamental


defence sites, redundancy, military bases, environmental impacts, property rights.