Multi-million pound redevelopment of former RAF West Raynham site continues with new bid for 94 homes

Young men training at the RAF airbase in West Raynham in the 1940s. Picture: submitted

Young men training at the RAF airbase in West Raynham in the 1940s. Picture: submitted - Credit: Archant

It was a hive of activity 75 years ago as a major operations base for RAF missions during the Second World War.

A Bloodhound missile mounted at RAF West Raynham in 1970. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

A Bloodhound missile mounted at RAF West Raynham in 1970. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY - Credit: Archant

Abandoned military watchtowers stretch towards an open sky where Blenheims and Beaufighters once flew.

Now the old RAF airbase at West Raynham, five miles south-west of Fakenham, could be further brought back to life with plans announced to build 94 new homes.

They are part of multi-million pound redevelopment of the site, which has been ongoing for five years.

Norwich-based FW Properties has submitted a planning application to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to build the 94 homes across 158 acres.

Bloodhound missiles mounted at RAF West Raynham in 1970. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Bloodhound missiles mounted at RAF West Raynham in 1970. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


The company has promised major investment in infrastructure at the site which already comprises both residential communities and a business park.

Ian Fox, director of FW Properties, said: 'We held a public consultation in January and many people were supportive.

Most Read

'As is always the case with these things, some people said they don't want new homes built next to them. We have listened to feedback and it is a low density development.'

If approved, building could start by mid 2018.

An aerial view of the site at West Raynham. Picture: FW PROPERTIES.

An aerial view of the site at West Raynham. Picture: FW PROPERTIES. - Credit: Archant

FW Properties has supported the creation of a shop, pub, children's nursery and play area, sports facilities, and an RAF memorial, in addition to lobbying successfully for a bus service and improved road access.

More than 20 companies operate from the business park.

Mr Fox said: 'It has been a uniquely challenging process to bring former RAF West Raynham out of the doldrums.

'We needed to maintain the historical integrity of the site, while creating an environment that today's families would want to call home.'

He added: 'The next phase of development, if our application is accepted, will be to enhance what has already been achieved here, and support the 'village' as it matures and continues to blossom.'

Mr Fox said, if the plans are approved, regeneration of the site could continue, with the company considering redeveloping some of the former military buildings into homes.

What do you think of the plans? E mail adam.lazzari@archant.co.uk

History of RAF West Raynham

. RAF West Raynham was built between 1938 and 1939, and became a major operations base for RAF missions during the Second World War and the Cold War.

. During the 1940s, Bomber Command lost 86 aircraft on operations launched from the base – 56 Blenheims, 29 Mosquitos and a Beaufighter.

. In the mid to late 1950s, it became a Central Fighter Establishment, and from then onwards it hosted squadrons of aircraft including Meteors, Javelins, Hunters and eventually Canberras, which remained until the end of 1975 when the base was finally closed for flying.

. RAF West Raynham then operated as a Bloodhound surface to air missile unit until 1991.

. It was closed by the MOD in 1994, but retained as a strategic reserve.

. Having lain derelict for more than a decade the MOD sold the site to housing developers in 2006 who sold it on a year later.

. FW Properties has managed the site since 2012.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus