Scottow the ‘poor relation’ in debate about RAF Coltishall future
09:46 30 June 2012
People in Scottow have “always been the poor relation” when it comes to the RAF Coltishall site, a parish councillor has said.
Speaking at Friday’s meeting of Scottow Parish Council, Mike Adams said other villages had a lesser interest in what became of the site than his, yet Scottow had been overlooked in the past.
As reported, Norfolk County Council is the preferred bidder for the site, owned by the Ministry of Justice.
Mike Britch, property adviser to the county council, faced questions from the public at the meeting about plans to dig up the runway and the impact it could have on the surrounding village.
Mr Adams said: “I do not see any point in digging the runway up. I am concerned about the impact it could have on the village as lorry load after lorry load removes it.”
Simon Shaw, chairman of Scottow Parish Council and the grandson of the original landowner the RAF bought the site from as a compulsory purchase for the war effort, said he had hoped that the land might return to his family.
But he summed up his feelings by saying he wanted to see “the best outcome for Scottow and the surrounding parishes”.
Bruce Giddy, managing director of rival bidder Hans House – which has outlined plans to create a heritage centre, museum and solar farm at the base – was at the meeting.
The county council has previously indicated it would like the majority of the land to be used for agriculture, with its own tenant farmers leasing land. It has also said that former air force buildings could be converted into about 65 homes, while other buildings, such as refurbished hangars, could be offered to small or medium-sized businesses to buy or rent, including potential leisure centre use.
Mr Britch said: “Local people have a lack of detailed knowledge about the site, but until we have the consultation we cannot give them that level of detail.”