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College plans for base get an airing
PLANS are to go on show for the redevelopment of RAF Lyneham as demolition begins of the old housing on the vast airbase.
The proposed new development is designed to create a new Defence College of Technical Training at the Lyneham site, comprising of electronic and mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering and communications and information systems training schools.
Residents have been used to no longer hearing the sound of the iconic Hercules flying overhead frequently, but loud noises of the demolition caused some confusion among some.
Spirthill resident Michael Perry said villagers near the base had not been informed of the works and were surprised by a series of explosions this week.
The 67-year-old said: “Now, with the base being prepared for use by the Defence College of Technical Training, we are being kept in the dark. The only information about the plans going on show has been in your newspaper.
“And this week we have been subjected to unexpected heavy explosions from the site without any warning.
“These have been happening daily since the beginning of this week and yesterday there were yet more. I heard three loud thumps so looked out and saw smoke drifting across the site.
“Then I saw fresh smoke shoot up followed shortly by another loud thump, so it is clear that the site is using some form of demolition charges to remove unwanted structures.
“We’ve put up with Hercules flying low over head for years and we don’t mind that, but there was no warning about the explosions.”
A spokesman for Defence Infrastructure Organisation, which is handling the changes at the site, said: “Demolition of some of the former single living accommodation is ongoing on the Former RAF Lyneham site.
“As is usual when undertaking work of this type, MOD has notified Wiltshire Council and in this case, also informed the local Parish Council.”
On the public exhibition, he said: “The events are an opportunity for the public to find out more about DIO’s plans for the site.
DIO’s purpose is to enable the people of Defence to live, work train and deploy at home and overseas.
“Through the delivery of this new, centralised training facility we can ensure that the Services have the right infrastructure to provide the training needed to equip them for their duties.”
The drop-in exhibition will be an opportunity to find out more about the proposals, ask questions of the project team and feedback any comments and will be held on March 12 from 2pm to 8pm and March 13 from 10am to 2pm at St Andrews Church, in Lyneham.
For more information contact the project team on email@example.com, by post at DTTCP Consultation, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Building 49, RAF Lyneham, Chippenham, SN15 4PZ or via www.mod.uk/lynehamplanning.