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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 15:52 GMT
Shelters to stay at ex-RAF base
Airbase shelters
Aircraft shelters along the north and west boundaries will be kept
The future of a former RAF base in Oxfordshire has become clearer after a council agreed to retain many of its former aircraft shelters.

About 1,000 homes and 1,300 jobs are proposed for the former RAF Upper Heyford, which closed 12 years ago.

Following a public consultation, Cherwell District Council has agreed to alter its planning brief to retain many of the site's former aircraft shelters.

English Heritage had lodged an objection to their proposed demolition.

The shelters are widely regarded as Cold War monuments from the time when the site was used by the US airforce.

Now the emphasis is on keeping some of the old Cold War structures
George Reynolds
Cherwell District Council

Nigel Barker, English Heritage's historic areas advisor, was pleased a compromise had been reached.

"While there are still proposals for some demolition, it is not in the core part of the site and is in accordance with proposals for the conservation plan," he said.

Councillor George Reynolds, portfolio holder for development, said: "The original idea was to clear the whole airfield.

'No major industry'

"Over the 12 years that's changed and now the emphasis is on keeping some of the old Cold War structures and utilising some of them to pay for their upkeep.

"We are also looking at monumentalising them.

"We don't feel it's right for major industry and car parking and all that goes with an industrial estate."

Many of the structures along the north and west boundaries will be retained.

The council hopes to finalise the planning brief within a couple of months.


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