PSNI chief constable Hugh Orde has announced a major Belfast British army base is to close while an observation post, also in the north of the city, is to be demolished.
Mr Orde said: "Overall security in the area won't be reduced. The closure of the massive Girdwood barracks will take up to nine months, while the removal of the observation post, just two weeks."
Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly said the move was "long overdue" and called for the land to be used to reduce housing waiting lists in the area.
The DUP and Sinn Féin are battling for votes in north Belfast and the future use of Girdwood's 23 acres will be critical.