Water supply problems force Thetford air cadets to temporarily move out of RAF Barnham base

RAF Barnham near Thetford. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

RAF Barnham near Thetford. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2016

One of the county's largest air cadet squadrons is currently without a home due to persistent problems with its water supply.

The 55 members of 1109 (Thetford) Air Cadets squadron use a building on RAF Barnham for their weekly activities.

But the squadron was forced to move out after the building lost running water.

Sergeant Matthew Drewry said he was not aware of the origin of the fault but said it would put the building out of use for the next couple of weeks while a solution is sought.

He said: 'We are keeping the parents as up to date as possible.'


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He added that temporary measures have been put in place to ensure the young cadets do not miss out while alternative arrangements are found at RAF Barnham.

'We are looking at doing some alternative activities which mean we are not at Barnham,' he said.

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An Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said the cold water supply to the building used by the cadets had developed a leak.

As a temporary solution the water supply to the building and the hot water heating system were switched off, with bottled water provided for cadets and volunteers.

The spokesman said: 'The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is working with its industry partner to replace pipework.

'It is currently anticipated the cold water supply will be restored permanently by the end of this week, with the repair or replacement of the hot water heater expected to take a further week.'

Even when the water supply problems are rectified, question marks hang over the future of 1109 squadron after the MoD announced it would be disposing of the RAF Barnham site by 2020 as part of its Better Defence Estate Strategy.

Sgt Drewry said: 'As far as we are concerned, it is business as usual for the cadets until we hear anything more.'

A MoD spokesman said plans are being made for the squadron to move to a new building at nearby RAF Honington, adding: 'We will continue to ensure the building remains safe and compliant with necessary regulations up until it is disposed of.'

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