New barracks for troops returning from Germany must not block the rising sun from casting light on Stonehenge at the summer equinox, a Wiltshire MP has said.

Accommodation for more than 4,000 troops due to be based at Larkhill is currently subject to consultation.

North Wiltshire MP James Gray today urged Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to step in to make sure the ancient stone circle would be protected.

Mr Gray said: "Given that Wiltshire loves the Army and will welcome the 4,000 soldiers due to return there from Germany shortly, they also love Stonehenge and the mysterious mists swirling, the mysteries that surround the stones.

"Will you look carefully into reports that houses which have been built to house these 4,000 soldiers will in fact be built to block off the rising sun on the summer equinox, and, if so, will you make sure it doesn't happen?"

Mr Hammond said: "You are right to highlight the importance of preserving important sites like Stonehenge and of a careful approach to the design of any development that might impact upon them.

"I too saw the press articles you refer to and I'm happy to reassure you that although Larkhill is an important element of our strategy for accommodating returning troops from Germany... no decision has been taken about the location of additional service accommodation.

"There is a public consultation about to close and organisations like English Heritage have expressed the issues you have raised today very clearly and we will make a decision in due course."