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 Thursday, 23 January, 2003, 09:49 GMT
Missile bunkers 'to become monuments'
Nuclear demonstration in 1988 at Greenham Common
Anti-nuclear protests were held at the site in the 1980s
Bunkers at Greenham Common air base could join the list of Britain's historic monuments.

Heritage officials are believed to be ready to give the former military site special protection which would prevent the bunkers from being disturbed.

The compound in Berkshire, which includes shelters that housed nuclear cruise missiles in the 1980s, was recently offered to West Berkshire Council for 1, but the offer was refused.

However, English Heritage says no firm decision has yet been made about the base's status.

Bunkers protected

It is understood the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which is trying to sell the bunkers, has agreed to delay the sale until they are given formal protection.

The MoD has been told the process of adding them to the list of the nation's historic monuments should be completed by the end of February.

This means whoever buys them will have to seek the permission of the culture secretary for any work that might affect the bunkers.

The US-run airbase came to the world's attention because of the anti-nuclear protests by the Women's Peace Camp.

The campaign culminated in the "Embrace the Base" protest in 1982 when 30,000 women joined hands around its perimeter fence.

Nuclear missiles were finally removed from the base between 1989 and 1991 and the Ministry of Defence gave up control of the entire 500-hectare site in 1997.


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01 Oct 02 | England
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