TALKS about the planned closure of the Royal Marines base outside Taunton are being held between the Ministry of Defence and Taunton Deane Borough Council.

Sir Michael Fallon, the then Defence Secretary, announced a year ago that Norton Manor Camp would be among 56 MoD site across the UK to close.

40 Commando are expected to relocate to Plymouth when the base on Norton Fitzwarren closes in 2028.

The closure will have a huge economic impact on the district with several hundreds job losses to the area.

A Deane House spokeswoman said: "This significant and large site is owned by the Ministry of Defence.

"The council is working with partners to make sure it is involved in discussions with the MoD on a range of issues including masterplanning, identifying alternative uses for the site and how the impact of the proposed closure can be mitigated."

Brendan Cleere, the council's director of growth and development, told a meeting of ArtsTaunton that the closure will be a "big loss to the economy and to the community".

He added: "We are in early discussions with the MoD about that land and what it could be used for.

"We do see it as an opportunity for Taunton."