Officials are firming up their plans to re-use the old RAF Coltishall after consulting a think tank of local people.

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Norfolk County Council is poised the buy the former Battle of Britain fighter station site from the Ministry of Justice in September and use it for a mixture of farming, industry and heritage tourism.

Early ideas have now been shared with a community group, which is being consulted as the plans are driven forward.

The initial session, involving 30 people such as councillors, local residents, the Spirit of Coltishall Association and the HMP Bure prison next door, heard that an initial exchange of contracts had taken place with the MoJ.

The council’s ideas include: commercial development which could create hundreds of jobs, returning the runways to agriculture, walking and cycling routes and a circular heritage trail linking second world war and Cold War monuments.

County Archaeologist David Gurney stressed the council’s commitment to preserving the heritage of the site and invited ideas on how it should best be presented.

He said: “There is no public access at the moment. I’m very keen that we make the very best of the heritage and bring it back to life for everyone to learn from and enjoy.” The council has faced criticism from some locals about lack of consultation over its plans.

Chairman of the community liaison reference group Cliff Jordan, added: “This could be a real jewel in the tourism crown of Norfolk, but we want the view of this group to make sure we get it right.”

The meeting heard that some of the buildings on site were in poor condition, but the council had set aside money to stop them deteriorating further. The MoJ said contamination levels in the ground showed the main airfield should be be suitable for return to farming.

Mike Britch from the county’s NPS property arm said existing buildings could be put to good use by businesses and said there was already interest from firms - including some outside Norfolk.

The council reiterated it did not see a future for the site as an airfield and wanted to remove the runway to maximise agricultural potential. Aggregate could be recycled for a variety of uses, including roads, but the council would look at setting up assigned lorry routes, physical barriers, speed and width restrictions to minimise traffic disruption to local communities.

Mr Jordan said after a “very positive” first meeting: “We are still at an early stage in our thinking, but we want to develop our ideas with people. We are very optimistic about the site and its future.”

The group will meet again in a few weeks’ time.

15 comments

  • The only way that this site could be a tourist attraction would be if they left the runway intact.Visiting an old RAF fighter Station minus it's runway would be as about appealing as going to visit the North Norfolk Railway without any track or trains. Whatever NCC say the dismantling of the runways will be costly and more importantly extremely disruptive to local communities. What is most worrying about these idiotic and undemocratic plans is that Norfolk Taxpayers are the ones who will be footing the bill if there are any unexpected problems. Of course the answer will be to sweep opposition under the carpet and to drown out dissent....nothing new there then!

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    Douglas McCoy

    Friday, July 13, 2012

  • Looks like a done deal to me, why bother consulting the locals!!! It also says a lot for all the other tourist attractions in Norfolk if they think, and I quote “This could be a real jewel in the tourism crown of Norfolk" REALLY!!! I think these fools in charge need a reality check.

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    Johnyboy65

    Friday, July 13, 2012

  • WRT wind turbines, I have searched NNDC planning site and no application has been received, once it is that will be the time to really complain! Where I came from the village had a similar application (local farmer wanted 2 turbines) a local action group was formed and planning was refused, even went to appeal and again refused. Might I suggest that if people feel strongly then do similar .. and I am not volunteering ... and I would a specific group be formed

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    grandy54

    Saturday, July 14, 2012

  • I cannot believe what is going with NCC how many more lies are they going to put in the press and through our doors? How can it be that in this day and age they are not answerable for their actions? ~Surely as a huge organisation such as they are they have a duty of care and liability to their electorate? By their actions obviously not! Absolutely no consultation and what little consultation there has been they have decided to rip the runway up any way? This is NOT consultation this is riding rough shod over all residents in all villages concerned not just Badersfield, but Scottow, Coltishall, Buxton, Horstead, Stanninghall. Come on Parish Councillors what are you doing about all this take off your rosey coloured specs and get off your backsides and fight for your residents they vote for you - you fight for their rights - District Councillors WAKE UP smell the coffee Jordan and Steward are having you over a barrel - please please PLEASE get your acts together!!!!!!

    Report this comment

    Slosers13

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

  • What a load of complete twaddle. There is an excellent plan for the site from a private developer and we are expected to sit back and let a load of rank amateurs fiddle around with the site, using our money. Why is there no invitation to tender? I think one of the items that should be on any plan is a fishpond because something smells mighty fishy here. Why have we not seen a proper plan from the County Council and why is it not in competition with anyone else? Another case of democracy in very short supply. Get rid of your county councillors people around Coltishall or you'll end up with something nasty in your backyard. They wouldn't be so secretive if they had something good to tell you about.

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    alecto

    Monday, July 16, 2012

  • Looks like a done deal to me, why bother consulting the locals!!! It also says a lot for all the other tourist attractions in Norfolk if they think, and I quote “This could be a real jewel in the tourism crown of Norfolk" REALLY!!! I think these fools in charge need a reality check.

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    Johnyboy65

    Friday, July 13, 2012

  • The wind turbines are taller than those at Swaffham and at the recent public exhibition, the company forgot to mailshot the local residents! Hmm, suspicious! Whose land might they be built on? Local PC chairman! Hmm, suspicious! NCC need access to ferrying the 60,000 lorry-loads away from village.. hang on, why not across a local landowner's field whos also on the PC! Hmmm, suspicious! Hang on, if turbines go up, this might impact of the feasibility of flying at the airfield...hmmm, suspicious! New gate has just been installed across the access road to the old crash gate (thought to be a public highwaybyway). Some thing to hide? Oh dear, thing some one's going to answering a lot of questions!

    Report this comment

    jaybaxter

    Friday, July 13, 2012

  • Grandy54. First of all, NNDC buying Coltishall is not a done deal, so we WILL oppose anything they wish to do. The worst possible option is a Council doing, well, more or less anything. Incompetence and ineptitude are the only likely outcomes. The private sector is the only competent sector, as it HAS to be profitable. I could go on.......... As to the wind turbines, proposed, you are correct, there is no planning application yet, but you are wrong in thinking that we should wait until a planning application is in place before we start objecting. The time to start objecting is as soon as there is even the hint of an application. You were probably not at the Airvolution Presentation at Scottow Rugby Club, I'd be surprised if you were, it was made "public" but very carefully concealed from those who do not follow these things well. WE were there and made our point well, I, for one, am glad I am not the Project Manager for that one! They are now well aware that every step they take in this ridiculous project will be microscopically monitored and every step will also be vehemently opposed. The aim is that these 420feet high turbines will never exist. You are correct, an opposition group will be formed, indeed, in most aspects, it already exists!

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    windup

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • When was this meeting? Seems once again the council has get together a group of busybodies that they invited personally; the kind of people who act like puppy dogs and who are frightened to say anything controversial. When are NCC going to ask LOCAL people how they feel, answer THEIR worries about the development etc? NCC are really pushing this through too quickly; this will be an embarrassment to Norfolk. Richard Batson, shame on you! I thought you were a better reporter than this!

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    jaybaxter

    Friday, July 13, 2012

  • You are absolutely right alecto it is might fishy and is being pushed through so quickly it would SEEM it cannot be stopped. However there is movement afoot and rest assured there are people fighting the good fight - there is no consultation even though NCC would have you believe there is. Where was the consultation in ripping up the runway? - Answer NONE where was the consultation in turning it back to agricultural land? Answer NONE. Where will be the consultation in the future? Answer NONE. Still the local elections are coming up soon what will happen then I wonder? Parish Councillors, NCC Councillors, District Councillors watch out you are being watched very closely and so far the general public are not impressed...... Some Parish Councillors actually believe it is a great idea to rip up the runway and have loads of trucks ripping through our villages - can you believe that? And more to the point we are the idiots that voted for these people that have our best interests at heart ( I include myself as being one of the idiots incidentally what a mistake to make!!!)!They have not got our best interests at hear they just roll over and give up. They are looking at the world through rosey coloured spectacles - again I say WAKE UP and SMELL THE COFFEE look at what is going on here Parish and District Councillors - NCC are having you over a barrel get with the plot for all our sakes.........

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    Slosers13

    Monday, July 16, 2012

  • Did I really see the words "masterplan" and "council" in the same article! Asking a council how to run the ex RAF Coltishall, is akin to asking Rolf Harris for advice on shipbuilding! To remove just the runway needs 60000 tipper lorries at the maximum weight allowed on UK roads, albeit half of those empty (and thus even noisier) on their return (and thus non profitable) journeys. If we consider the hardstandings and taxiways you need to treble this number to 180,000, this is provable fact, not scaremongering, that's the scale of this. I'm glad I don't live near Coltishall, Wroxham, or Buxton. The alternative from Hans House was a much better plan, and we would have kept what could be a potentially strategic large runway in the area too. That alone may also have kept the planned but unwanted two 415 feet high wind turbines on the Scottow estate blighting our skyline too, if there was a good reason to keep the runway, that one is as good as any. And they planned a 50 MEGAWATT solar farm on the site, not two ridiculous 400Kw each, if lucky, in the local wind, 415feet high turbines we already know that 85% of the population DO NOT WANT! Now we will have years of the ineptitiude and incompetence we expect from our Council people as a matter of course.

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    windup

    Friday, July 13, 2012

  • Apparently there is a local group involved "The Badersfield Campaign for the Protection and Development of the Ex RAF Coltishall" which was formed as soon as NCC announced there bid, it had to be done in a hurry as NCC wanted names of interested groups and members before they would involve in discussions. We may not agree that general public cant get included but that's there rules, at least there is some local people involved. Regarding the Solar Farm, surely it would not be safe for planes to land with this near the runway. NCC buying it is a done deal, lets stop attacking them and do our best to work with them, we all know that they ('the government') can do pretty much as they like, lets try and positively influence them in some of their decisions. If all we do is shout at them they wont listen ....

    Report this comment

    grandy54

    Saturday, July 14, 2012

  • NCC really are a law unto themselves, ably assisted by the silence of the masses, and the apathy of County Councillors.

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    Honest John

    Friday, July 13, 2012

  • I long for the headline "The masses are revolting" !

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    bedoomed

    Friday, July 13, 2012

  • MR Grandy 54. If you're unhappy at the thought of running off the runway into some solar panels, you may wish to consider what your plan B is for landing at London City airport?!

    Report this comment

    Windless

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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

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