Former officers' building could house 120 farm workers

Building 50a at the Jaguar Buildings in Badersfield, outside Scottow Enterprise Park, the former RAF Coltishall air base. 

Building 50a at the Jaguar Buildings in Badersfield, outside Scottow Enterprise Park, the former RAF Coltishall air base. - Credit: Google StreetView

Up to 120 agricultural workers could be housed in former Royal Air Force accommodation which until recently opened its doors to asylum seekers. 

A building at Badersfield known as 50a and part of the neighbouring Jaguar House would be used for the workers, under plans submitted to Broadland District Council. 

The 'Jaguar Buildings' are part of the former officers' area that serviced RAF Coltishall airbase, which closed in 2006.

A spokesperson for the Jaguar Buildings did not wish to comment on the plans, but the application, put in by BM Trust Ltd of Salisbury, read: "Workers would be transferred from the site to the agricultural land to undertake their work 'en masse' by coach/minibus etc rather than any of their own private vehicles.

"During the day-time, the occupants will be 'off site' working in the local agricultural enterprises for a significant portion of the day.

"Upon their return the site will be responsibly managed by the applicant employing full-time staff and all cooked meals will be provided directly on-site and as such there is no reason as to why there should be any harm to neighbouring amenity."

The government used the site to house almost 100 asylum seekers for months on end, before they were moved to alternative accommodation in cities such as Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Leicester and Coventry earlier this year

That use of the site was criticised Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew because of its isolated location - away from the amenities found in a town or city.

The application for the agricultural workers' scheme said there would be no internal or external alterations to any of the buildings.

Most Read

It reads: "The proposed use of the existing accommodation has been carefully considered within the overall site to ensure that it does not result in any unacceptable loss of amenity or disturbance to adjoining occupiers.

"A small area of existing building to the north-east of the officer’s mess would be used for the cooking of meals."

The owners have asked for permission to house agricultural workers there until December 1.