North Norfolk MP pushes for Coltishall answers

North Norfolk's MP is pushing for answers from the owners of RAF Coltishall over its future after plans to turn the base into a jet recycling centre fell through.

Norman Lamb has a meeting provisionally fixed with justice minister Crispin Blunt next Wednesday to discuss key points about what lays ahead for the site.

We reported on Tuesday that TAG Aviation had withdrawn its bid to take over part of the former Battle of Britain base - a move Mr Lamb described as 'very bad news' - as it would have brought hundreds of full time jobs to the area and returned Coltishall to its flying roots.

The Ministry of Justice, which owns the historical 650-acre site, has said it is now in talks with one of the previous bidders and Mr Lamb is keen to find out more.

He said: 'My hope is to get a quick meeting with him next week. Parliament sits this week and next and then we're away for three weeks of party conferences.

'I'm hoping I can talk to him and just get a briefing on where we're at, what factors they're taking into account, when the local community may have something more and what plans he has to involve the community and plans for the future generally.'

TAG's plans to set up a high tech airliner decommissioning business, which would have also stripped and reconditioned parts, was deemed as a 'major blow' to the North Norfolk district, which already has an estimated 2,800 unemployed.

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A score of companies vied to take over the site and although some, including TAG, went public with their plans the MoJ remained tight lipped about other potential schemes, even after the News' sister paper the EDP submitted an FoI request. Other companies that went public with their plans included WCD Aviation Group and Aylsham Growers.

An MoJ spokesman said: 'The Ministry of Justice is considering next steps regarding the sale of the site and will make an announcement in due course.'