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Former RAF Coltishall officers’ mess to go under the hammer

PUBLISHED: 17:45 14 June 2018 | UPDATED: 08:29 15 June 2018

The former RAF Coltishall officers' mess, which will be sold at auction on July 17
Photo: SIMON RIGGALL

The former RAF Coltishall officers' mess, which will be sold at auction on July 17 Photo: SIMON RIGGALL

Archant

A collection of former military buildings could become a dream property for a developer with Grand Designs-style vision, and an eye for the unusual.

The former RAF Coltishall officers' mess, which will be sold at auction on July 17
Photo: SIMON RIGGALLThe former RAF Coltishall officers' mess, which will be sold at auction on July 17 Photo: SIMON RIGGALL

Dating back to 1939, RAF Coltishall officers’ mess will go under the hammer on July 17.

It is part of the 600-acre former military base, which was bought from the Ministry of Justice in 2013 by Norfolk County Council for £4 million, before being redeveloped as Scottow Enterprise Park.

The officers’ mess, which is made up of a complex of buildings including a dining hall, leisure facilities, an accommodation block and a terrace of garages, is set in around 16 acres of grounds.

The county council had planned to redevelop the buildings into housing to be sold on the open market, but the £10m project was hit by delays and the authority was last year granted permission to dispose of the site.

Parts of the property are listed, but informal advice from planners indicates these could be converted into a single household or apartments, with later additions and surrounding land to be redeveloped in keeping with RAF Coltishall’s conservation area designation.

Auctioneer Simon Riggall, who is a director of London-based firm Lambert Smith Hampton, which is handling the sale, specialises in “oddball” properties, with past sales including mansions, a gunnery range and the entire Cornish village of Charlestown, where parts of the hit BBC drama series Poldark were filmed.

He said that while the listed parts of the officers’ mess would be most suitable for residential use, the rest of the buildings, and the surrounding land, could be redeveloped with greater flexibility.

“I have spoken with the local planning authority and I think they are not dogmatic at all about its use,” he explained. “I think the most obvious use is residential, but it could be something entirely different, it really comes down to a developer having a great idea and speaking to the planners.”

There is no guide price, and the auction will be run entirely online, a move which, Mr Riggall hopes, will encourage bidders from further afield.

“It is a bit like Ebay, so instead of selling in a room with a hammer, people can bid from wherever they are,” he said.

For more details, and information about the auction, visit www.lshauctions.co.uk/property

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