Rushmoor Council is taking steps to protect the heritage of Aldershot's military town following the announcement by the Ministry of Defence that it proposes to make major changes to the garrison.

The council's cabinet has agreed to designate new conservation areas in the military town and to press for more of its historic buildings to be listed.

The move comes after Rushmoor commissioned specialist advisors to report on the significance of the military heritage and how it might be protected.

Under the MoD's proposals, known as Project Connaught, much of the military town will be redeveloped, which will result in surplus land being released for development.

A meeting of the cabinet was told that the scale and influence of military development in Aldershot is far greater than at other garrisons such as Colchester or York. Councillors accepted the consultant's recommendations to consider designating four new conservation areas and to list two more buildings.

The possible conservation areas will focus around Government House, Queens Avenue, the Cambridge Military Hospital and the Prince Consort's Library/Wellington Monument. At the moment 18 buildings in the military town are listed including the Cambridge, the library and Maida Gym.

The council will be recommending to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport that the old army swimming pool on Queens Avenue and Government House should also be listed, since they are the first army swimming pool and the former home of the Duke of Connaught.

Rushmoor will also recommend that the Prince Consort's Library be given a higher category of protection to reflect its architectural and historic character. The cabinet also noted the poor condition of some military buildings, particularly the Cambridge Military Hospital, and agreed to write to the army asking for urgent action to repair the damage and stop the decay. Coun Roland Dibbs, Cabinet member for the environment, said: "The council recognises the historic importance of many of the buildings in the military town.

"They are a central part of our cultural heritage. We are committed to protecting them for generations to come."