Bid for new factory at RAF Coltishall site

16:23 21 August 2014

An artist

An artist's impression of what the future could hold for RAF Coltishall plans. Photo: Supplied


Council leaders have welcomed a planning application from a company which wants to start up a factory in a hanger at the former RAF Coltishall air base.

Bosses of Little Melton-based Vitromite, which takes reprocessed glass and turns it into building components, say up to 250 jobs could be created in the long term.

The company, which was created eight months ago, wants to use one of the four aircraft hangars at the 600 acre site, which Norfolk County Council bought for £4m in January last year.
A planning application has been lodged with North Norfolk District Council for hangar four to be used for a 53 metre long production line, where waste glass is turned into glass beads which are then mixed with resin.

The company says that patented process create panels which can be used in construction.

James Howells, director of Vitromite, said: “We are eager to establish a permanent base at Coltishall. This will ultimately bring life back to this corner of Norfolk which has always been our prime choice of location.

“For a cutting edge new business such as Vitromite Ltd to be forever linked with an important heritage asset such as former RAF Coltishall is the wish of all of us at Vitromite and we have all worked very hard to get to this point.

“We are very aware of the heritage and heartfelt association around the globe of the site and any and all of our efforts will be complementary and respectful of the whole site and the surrounding communities.

“We aim to be ‘Low impact High output’ and a supportive neighbour to help fill the vibrancy and financial void left from the departure of the RAF.

“Badersfield is a developing community and deserves the opportunity of local employment both direct and indirect our aim is to provide this for many years to come.”

The company says, if planning permission is secured, it would create a dozen new jobs straight away and would grow to beyond 250 in the “medium to longer term”.

Documents lodged with North Norfolk District Council state that the factory would result in 10 lorry movements in and 10 lorry movements away from the base within the proposed 12 hour working day of 7am until 7pm, Monday to Saturday.

As reported, the apparent slow progress at getting tenants in at the former RAF base, has led to criticism of the council’s decision to buy the base.
An application to dig up the ends of the runway to provide aggregate is currently on hold, while a proposal for a solar farm hit a potential hurdle when the government announced changes to the subsidies for such schemes.

George Nobbs, leader of Norfolk County Council, said of the Vitromite application: “This is a welcome step in the right direction to help bring life back into the former airbase and boost its prosperity for the future.

“We have always said there is much potential for economic success on the site but that development would take time to come to fruition simply due to its sheer size and complexity.

“I’m pleased that work has been taking place behind the scenes and this business development is another positive move towards the site’s rejuvenation.”

• What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.


  • At last, somebody has arrived to bring long awaited jobs to a very poor employment area. Lets hope more follow. With Badersfild, Swanton Abbott, Coltishall, Tunstead and Buxton all in close proximity, I'm sure a keen labour force is laying in waiting. I know I am. Hooray....

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    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • yes they are mortfish, thats the theory political parties rely on, i.e turning voters off politics so that just their party loyalists get to vote. And the electorate does not realise that such apathy means more of the same stooges. Cllrs.offering postal votes, hawking hundreds of them around at every local election is the preferred ruse. Independent candidates have no chance to get heard or cut through the BBC establishment paper bias that exists here in Norfolk.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, August 24, 2014

  • Apart from the regular commentators is anyone really interested in what NCC does. Come election time it will be the same old faces returned.Most of the people I talk to have no idea what is going on in the county and couldn't care less, they are to busy with their own lives to bother.

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    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • I don't want to sound cynical, but Vitromite was incorporated only nine months ago, and has a share capital of £1. Does anyone know the length of the proposed letting, and the amount of the rent? Will the directors be called upon by NCC to guarantee payment of that rent? NCC's investment costs are running at about £6m at the moment, and it really is going to have to try harder.

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    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • Are you one of those locals Nigel? And thansk for that info catton man, it should mean that they are already paying rent and have a viable product to sell that the building industry wants. Whether this is so and not just one of NCC's Noddy contracts.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • This will have the locals waving their pitchforks in indignation again no doubt.

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    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • If this is just a planning application, then why are this company already listing their address as 4 h Former Raf Coltishall Badersfield Scottow Norfolk, England, United Kingdom ?

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    Catton Man

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • Going by the rents our public services have to pay for these hangars I expect private sector rents to be somewhat higher. So NCC has secured a company paying 80.000 plus per annum in rent. To make glass beads they need heat and were there is heat there is exhaustion. So what will the impact on residents be from the emissions of that company?

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • The investment made by the county council is starting to bear fruit in economic development terms.I hope the solar farm works out too and why don't schools run on sun as well?

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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