Letter from local Lib Dem councillors:
Surface-to-air missiles on Blackheath
Many residents will be concerned to hear that a Rapier surface-to-air missile system might be deployed on Blackheath during the Olympics. Following on from a briefing by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Metropolitan Police at last night’s Blackheath Assembly meeting, we can confirm that Blackheath is being considered as one of six potential missile bases.
Blackheath has been selected because of its height and vantage point over London and the Thames corridor. The actual site has been located as the area immediately outside Holly Hedge House (the TA centre). The defence system consists of a missile launcher, radar sensor and tracker and will be guarded by unarmed military police. An enclosure will be erected around the equipment, the size of which is currently being determined.
At present, information is being gathered by the MoD and fed to the Secretary of State for Defence, who will make the ultimate decision about what is sited where, by early summer. We have got a guarantee that there will be further consultation with residents before a decision on final deployment.
We have ascertained that the footprint used will be as small as possible and there will be no restrictions on using the heath or any road closures associated with this.
We felt that the liaison officers from the MoD and the Police were as open as possible within the constraints of national security and we will be pressing them to continue this process of consultation right through to the event.
If you have any specific concerns you wish us to raise with them please let us know.
Is it advisable to tell the public that the military police guarding the missiles will be unarmed?
My parody limit has been reached… I honestly can’t tell any more.