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Former RAF base sold to housing firm

PUBLISHED: 07:15 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 22 October 2010

A development company that has bought a former Norfolk RAF base was last night urged to reveal its future plans for the 150-acre site. The EDP can reveal that the consortium, Hodge Homes, based in south-west England, was the successful bidder for RAF West Raynham which became redundant more than a decade ago.

A development company that has bought a former Norfolk RAF base was last night urged to reveal its future plans for the 150-acre site.

The EDP can reveal that the consortium, Hodge Homes, based in south-west England, was the successful bidder for RAF West Raynham which became redundant more than a decade ago. It was believed to have been sold for a multi-million pound figure.

The site, near Fakenham, contains more than 150 houses and a range of technical buildings and hangars, all of which have been falling into decay.

Last night North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who has been battling against the Ministry of Defence for a decision to release the old RAF properties so that they could be restored and put to use for desperately needed affordable housing, called for the new owner to come clean about its plans.

His view was shared by North Norfolk District Council and district councillor, Keith Welch.

The authority is still waiting for a response to its request for a meeting with the new owners to discuss its proposals for the old airbase and its properties.

NNDC's Strategic Director (community) Steve Blatch, told the EDP he was “disappointed” that two months after it became aware the former airbase had new owners, the authority had still not been able to meet with the purchasers to talk about their future plans.

“At this stage, despite writing to the new owners and requesting a meeting, we still don't know anything about their plans. We understand that their plans are to sell the properties on for private occupation but we don't know any detailed proposals,” said Mr Blatch.

Mr Blatch said that the authority has previously said that it needs to look at the wider aspects of returning the houses into private occupation including the necessary infrastructure and services likes community hall and shops.

“We have written to the company but the ball is now in their court, we have no powers to force them to meet us,” he said.

Mr Lamb said that he hoped the sale of the site meant that there would be progress in getting the homes renovated and brought back into use. There was

a need for the neighbouring communities to be consulted through their parish councils.

“The issues surrounding the regeneration of the redundant air base at West Raynham has been an incredibly long road. I spent the first four years since being elected an MP in trying to persuade the Ministry of Defence to release this site,” he said.

Hodge Homes could not be contacted for comment last night.


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