What's going on at RAF Upwood

 

December 2013

Words from the Cambridge News newspaper website.


Homes plan for RAF Upwood is recommended for approval by planners
Written by JULIAN MAKEY


UP to 160 new homes and five acres of employment space are set to get the go-ahead on the disused former RAF Upwood base.
The move makes Upwood the fourth military site in the Huntingdon area to be earmarked for housing.
Planners at Huntingdonshire District Council are recommending approval for the redevelopment by Strawson Holdings, which owns a substantial part of the former airfield.
They had opposed an earlier plan by Strawson’s to build 650 homes and 25 acres of employment space on the site.
The council’s development management panel will consider the scheme, which also involves demolishing most of the buildings left on the airfield, many of which have become derelict and the target for arsonists, on December 16.
Five thousand new homes are on the cards with the redevelopment of Alconbury airfield and 3,750 could be built on the redundant airfield at RAF Wyton in the longer term. A further 400 are planned for RAF Brampton which is being disposed of by the Ministry of Defence.
The earlier scheme to redevelop the Upwood site raised concerns about its impact on local infrastructure, especially the road system.
Bury Parish Council has approved the plan, but a minority of councillors were worried about pressure on services and the loss of historic buildings. Wistow Parish Council has also recommended approval, but Ramsey Town Council, Upwood and the Raveleys Parish Council and Kings Ripton Parish Council have all come out against it.
The plan involves retaining the guardroom, the administration block, water tower and the former commanding officer’s home Upwood Hill House, together with some buildings near the hangars, with the aim of retaining a sense of the former RAF station.
A question-mark remains over uses for the rest of the site.
Old hangars on the base are in the separate ownership of an aero-engine firm.
The airfield has roots going back to the First World War and took its present shape in the expansion of the RAF just before the Second World War when it was a bomber base.
Canberra jets flew there after the war, but flying stopped in the 1960s.
In more recent times it was given a new lease of life as an extension to RAF Alconbury but was run down after the Americans no longer needed it.
An adjacent American medical facility saw its last patient in 2012.

Read more: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Huntingdon-St-Ives-St-Neots/Homes-plan-for-RAF-Upwood-is-recommended-for-approval-by-planners-20131205151350.htm#ixzz2p9nnqUVI


September 2012
Planning has just been submitted for 168 houses at RAF Upwood

I get a large amount of email asking permission to access the site to take photographs. Anyone wanting access to RAF Upwood need to speak to Strawson Property, as they own the site.
Their email address is as follows: rafupwood@beattiegroup.com

Most of the site at Upwood is derelict. The site closed in 1995 and most of the buildings have been vandalised. Due to the amount of buildings that have been set on fire, Omni Security patrol the site and a new set of gates have been put in just before the Guard room and Head quarters buildings stopping people accessing the site. The gates are open during the day for access to Turbine Motor works. Shut and locked at evenings and weekends.

The 4 "C type" hangars are owned by Turbine Motor works, were they recon jet engines.
Two of the hangars have been put up for sale/rent.

Strawson Property own the rest of the site and have been awaiting planning permission for years.

Development Progress: Planning application for mixed use development consisting some 650 dwellings and 10ha of employment land was refused at appeal in August 2010. However, the appeal decision is now subject to a Judicial Review.

The married quarters at Upwood have been sold off to the public and are accessable by all.

Some of the bomb stores and ammo sheds still survive, look at my picture page on Upwood to see what still remain.


Urban Assault use the site for Airsoft gamers, much like paint ball but with plastic ball bearings. Well worth alook.


Towards the NE side of the airfield, The Royal Observers Corp Post.

Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Posts are underground structures all over the United Kingdom, constructed as a result of the Corps' nuclear reporting role and operated by volunteers during the Cold War between 1955 and 1991.
In all but a very few instances the posts were built to a standard design consisting of a 14-foot-deep access shaft, a toilet/store and a monitoring room. The most unusual post was the non-standard one constructed in a cellar within Windsor Castle. A third of the total number of posts were closed in 1968 during a reorganisation and major contraction of the ROC. Several others closed over the next 40 years as a result of structural difficulties i.e. persistent flooding, or regular vandalism. The remainder of the posts were closed in 1991 when the majority of the ROC was stood down following the break-up of the Communist Bloc. Many have been demolished or adapted to other uses but the majority still exist, although in a derelict condition.
Between 1958 and 1968 a countrywide building programme resulted in a network of 1,563 underground monitoring posts, approximately eight miles apart, distributed throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, at an estimated cost of almost £5,000 each. The posts were excavated to a depth of twenty five feet, a monocoque reinforced concrete building was cast and bitumen tanked (or waterproofed), before the whole structure was covered by a compacted soil mound. Entry was facilitated by a steel ladder in a vertical shaft leading to a single room, providing accommodation for three observers to live and work, with a separate toilet compartment with chemical closet. Air was circulated from grilled ventilators at both ends of the post and electricity was provided by a crated 12 volt lead–acid battery, charged occasionally by a portable petrol electric generator. New instrumentation detected the peak overpressure from any nuclear burst, together with photographic indications of the burst location and size, plus resulting levels of radiation. Conditions in these spartan posts were cramped, cold, and in some cases damp.



Updated 6/6/2012