THE closure of MoD Caledonia has been delayed until 2026 – although the site is still being "drawn down" for it being shut eventually.

Plans were announced back in 2016 that the facility in Rosyth was to be disposed of by 2022 as part of a defence review in which the UK Government planned to sell off 56 defence sites by 2040.

While the base is still set to close, the date for this has now been put back.

An MoD spokesperson said: "While we have revised our disposal timeline for MoD Caledonia to 2026, the site is in the process of being drawn down for closure.

"Certain areas, such as the swimming pool, are no longer being actively maintained and closed in July 2022.

"While the delay is unfortunate, these decisions have long-term impacts for Defence and our people which need to be considered carefully."

Following news of the four-year "stay of execution", Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman has urged the MoD not to allow the site to fall into disrepair.

He has written to the the defence procurement minister to seek assurances those assets would still be maintained and open to the community until 2026.

The SNP MP said: “The MoD seems to have taken the decision to delay the site’s closure until 2026 without any proper consultation and there are several users who have been told valued facilities, such as the pool, will remain closed.

“It’s not right that these assets are now going to sit unused for the next four years.

“I’ve written to the defence procurement minister and asked him to ensure the site and its assets are kept fit for purpose ahead of the base’s closure.

“It’s really the least they could do, given the community has, so far, been treated as an after-thought."

Rosyth councillor Andy Jackson said the four-year delay was "big news" for the Rosyth community.

“The site has played a key role in our area’s history for decades, and residents deserve to be properly consulted and informed about its future," he said.

“We can’t leave it to luck that the MoD’s ever-changing plans don’t clash with local priorities.”

Fellow councillor Brian Goodall added: “Our community could benefit so much from the facilities at MoD Caledonia, and it’s vital they’re properly maintained and available to be used until the official closure date.

“I hope the MoD shows Rosyth the respect our area deserves."

The MoD has said it continues to discuss options for the future use of the site with Fife Council.

It said the closure of the pool came as it was "no longer fit for purpose" and posed a potential health and safety risk.