Employment park vision for former RAF radar station could create 250 jobs

PUBLISHED: 10:18 14 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:50 14 August 2019

The former RAF Neatishead base could be transformed into an employment park. Picture: Bill Smith

The former RAF Neatishead base could be transformed into an employment park. Picture: Bill Smith

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A vision to transform a former RAF radar station has been unveiled, in a scheme aiming to create 250 jobs.

Stylespace Ltd, which owns the former RAF Neatishead, has lodged a bid to change the use of the site into a mixed use employment park, with offices, gym and leisure facilities and a pub included in the proposals.

Planning papers submitted claim that its current defined status has made it difficult to market for potential occupiers.

And it is hoped that should permission be granted it would unlock the interest to breathe new life into the site and create hundreds of new jobs.

The papers say: "The purpose of this application is to provide planning permission for the site that will give potential future occupiers certainty regarding the acceptability of employment and related uses."

The proposals feature a range of potential new uses for the former officer's met, which could become a pub, restaurant or hotel.

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Meanwhile there is scope for the base's leisure facilities - the gyms, changing rooms and squash courts - to retain these uses.

The base was opened in the midst of the Second World War and remained in active use until as recently as 2006.

Currently though, the only part of the site that is in use is the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum, the home of which is not included in the application.

The site was purchased by the Midlands-based company a number of years ago and has even been unsuccessfully listed for sale on eBay for £2.5m.

However, this is the latest effort to bring into regular use, which will see the owners seeking to either sell or lease buildings of the 10 hectare site.

Nigel Dixon, district councillor for the Hoveton and Tunstead ward, in which the site sits, said: "Opportunities of this type, offering this number of jobs, are very welcome and this could be a very positive development.

"But as with all applications there will be a lot of issues that need working through, such as how a development of this nature will fit in what is a very rural position."

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