Dates set for public meetings to discuss future of RAF Mildenhall site

RAF Mildenhall.

RAF Mildenhall. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Dates have been set for a series of public sessions to discuss local priorities around the future of the RAF Mildenhall site.

Forest Heath District Council will be meeting with Government departments including the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Department for Transport ahead of three engagement sessions in April and May.

Earlier this year the MoD announced its intention to released part of the site for housing while considering if it will keep the rest for military use.

James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, said it was still not certain how much of the site would be released by the MoD, but added there was 'the possibility of any number of options' for its future use.

'What we can say with certainty is the US Department of Defense has not published a detailed timetable for the withdrawal of personnel from RAF Mildenhall, and no planning applications for housing on the site have been submitted to us as the local planning authority to decide, nor has consultation with us over this taken place,' he said.

'So what do we want to achieve from this site? We believe it is a mix of new employment, housing, an improved skills sector and better local education all of which will benefit living standards of the local area.

'We believe this is a prime site for business growth – a chance for Mildenhall to capitalise on the science and innovation sector spilling out of Cambridge, and to replace the local jobs that will be lost when the base closes.'

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'We held a series of very successful engagement sessions last year. Now, following both the MoD announcement and our discussions with the Government, we believe the time is right to hold these meetings in our communities again to discuss not just people's concerns, but the options for the future.'

Mr Waters added that the district council hoped to soon have an answer from the Government as to whether aviation use could be an option for the site.

'These meetings will help us as we continue the work with our communities and businesses on the one hand, and on the other partners including our MP, Suffolk County Council, Local Enterprise Partnerships, and the USAF, to ensure we are well placed to lead the regeneration of this site,' he said.

The engagement sessions will take place on:

• Monday, April 18, 6pm, at Forest Heath District Council, College Heath Road, Mildenhall

• Monday, May 9, 6pm, at the Jubilee Centre in Mildenhall

• Friday, May 13, 6pm, at Beck Row Community Centre

Booking for these sessions is essential. Members of the public wishing to attend should email malag@westsuffolk.gov.uk

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