Fresh concerns over Coltishall runway move

The ends of Coltishall runway which are earmarked for ripping up to make into rubble. Picture: MIKE

The ends of Coltishall runway which are earmarked for ripping up to make into rubble. Picture: MIKE PAGE - Credit: Archant

The controversial redevelopment of the former RAF Coltishall base has hit another stumbling block, after Broadland District Council objected to a proposal to dig up part of the runway.

Norfolk County Council has spent £4m on the base and hopes to recoup some of its investment by removing the ends of the runway and using an estimated 140,000 tonnes of aggregate for road schemes.

Council contractor Lafarge Tarmac has lodged an application to dig up parts of the runway and the council's own planning committee will decide whether to grant permission - which has angered objectors.

People who live nearby are also concerned that moving the runway would see 100 HGV movements a day through the residential community of Badersfield.

As reported in February, English Heritage wants the application to be turned down. They said it would 'result in harm to two designated heritage assets, namely the RAF Coltishall Conservation Area and the scheduled eastern grouping of Cold War era blast walls'. An amended proposal failed to change that opinion.

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And Broadland District Council has now written to County Hall saying its planning committee objects to the application, unless it can be demonstrated the public benefits of the application outweigh any harm caused to the significance of heritage assets at or next to the site.

Broadland also objects because it considers the lorries will have an 'unacceptable effect on the amenity of existing settlements and surrounding rural environment', while North Norfolk District Council has also objected.

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The application had been due to be discussed at the council's planning committee on March 21, but it was pulled from the agenda. It is also not listed on the agenda for next week's planning committee.

Scottow Parish Council and Tunstead Parish Council have also opposed the application, while Bruce Giddy, who had previously offered £4.1m for the base and John Martin, from Great Witchingham, have asked the secretary of state to 'call in' the matter.

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

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