Three home development to memorialise former RAF base refused by councillors
- Credit: Archant
A housing plan aiming to '"memorialise" a former RAF airbase has been defeated.
Plans for three houses on Hindolveston Road, Foulsham were heard by Broadland District Council (BDC) on Wednesday, with council officers recommending the plans be rejected.
The countryside development would have seen three three-bed homes built on the former airbase, with the intention it acts as a "memorial" to those that served in the Royal Air Force.
The plans were intended to look like a Second World War airfield, with paving between houses set out like the original landing strips.
An original air raid shelter still sits on the site.
Judith Miller, the applicant, said the site was an important part of Broadland’s military history.
She said: "I have lived on this site for 44 years and have had a lifelong association with the RAF and aviation.
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“My father was an RAF officer and served in the war.”
While the applicant argued the scheme was acceptable under planning rules allowing isolated countryside developments where they are “of exceptional quality,” this was dismissed by the BDC's officers.
The council's heritage and design officer argued it “could not be considered the highest standard of design architecture”.
Ms Miller said the plans had the support of the RAF 100 group - an association that pays tribute to the RAF's 14 squadrons that formed the '100 group' - and it was close to an industrial site and not a rural location.
The plans saw support from Foulsham ward councillor Greg Peck, who argued it would be a fitting tribute to the people that served on the site.
He said: "The design of the houses is bespoke, referencing the history of the airfield and providing a precedent for other former airfields.”
Mr Peck said it was not supposed to be a replica of the former airfield, but an “architectural interpretation”.
Councillors said they were conflicted about the plans, with Conservative John Ward saying it would essentially redevelop brownfield land.
Liberal Democrat Steve Riley supported the plans but was concerned about the height of the buildings.
However, Stuart Beadle argued the plans would "destroy" the rural character of the area and there was no room for people to walk when leaving the site, forcing people to use a car.
The plans were defeated.
RAF Foulsham was used as a military airfield from 1942 to 1945 for the No 2 Group RAF Bomber Command.
The airfield was equipped with three tarmac and woodchip runways and nine hangers.
Various squadrons called the site home throughout the war, including parts of the No 100 Group RAF, an electronic warfare unit that was headquartered at Bylaugh Hall.
The 100 Group was a special duties group in bomber command, developing electronic warfare and countermeasure equipment. This included 'homers' that detected Luftwaffe radar and radio emissions so they could be shot down or disrupted.