First public drop-in session on future vision for RAF Mildenhall
- Credit: Gregg Brown
The first of a series of drop-in events about the future vision for RAF Mildenhall takes place next week.
Residents are invited to visit the Forest Heath District Council offices in College Heath Road next Thursday (September 29) from 4-8pm to find out more and have their say on the vision for new jobs and industry at the American air base.
Another drop in event will be held the following week on Wednesday, October 5 between 4-8pm at the Jubilee Centre in Mildenhall.
Businesses will also have their say at a breakfast event being co-hosted by the Newmarket and District Chamber of Commerce, also on October 5, from 8am at the British Racing School.
Leader of Forest Heath District Council Cllr James Waters said: 'Let's be very clear, this isn't about Forest Heath creating a masterplan for what will be built on the site – but it is a chance for us to take forward the ongoing work with our local communities to influence Government decisions.
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'We, and our partners, have an ambition for Mildenhall with new jobs and new industry. We cannot simply sit on our hands and wait for these key decisions over our future to be made elsewhere.'
Forest Heath used Government funding to appoint Cushman and Wakefield to carry out an independent assessment of the suggestions made at the engagement sessions and to prepare a prospectus outlining a vision for the regeneration of the site.
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The prospectus, which is out to consultation until October 11, outlines a mix of new industry, aviation and housing on the site.
The independent assessment looked at the success and failures of other airfield redevelopments and, using the Civil Aviation Authority's catchment data, concluded that by the time the base closes in 2023, with predicted rates of UK passenger growth, a new airport at Mildenhall would attract between 360,000 to 750,000 passengers a year which it said is unlikely to be viable.
It also said the Mildenhall site would be unlikely to succeed as a cargo airport.
However there is still the potential to make use of the long runway at Mildenhall by using it for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) operations.
The prospectus and consultation can be found at www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/mildenhallfuture