Conserative-led West Lindsey District Council is calling on the community to work together to secure the future of RAF Scampton.
Cllr. Patterson, who represents residents of Scampton, is appealing to local residents to take control of community facilities at the site, following the closure announcement. He said:
“It doesn’t matter if you own your home, rent it, or are serving military personnel, we all have to unite to make this somewhere we can be proud to call home.”
The Ministry of Defence announced in the summer of their plans to close RAF Scampton in 2022, which has promoted discussions to look to the future if it closes.
Cllr. Patterson explained the District Council, Lincolnshire County Council and Sir Edward Leigh MP are working closely together to understand plans for the site. He said:
“Everyone is appealing to the Government to stop the closure. The base can still have a future. However, because of the mothballing in the late 90s and the way the base was allowed to deteriorate to such an extent, it would cost an absolute fortune to make it fit for purpose. That’s not to say it’s not worth fighting for.”
However, Cllr. Patterson explained the priority is to make sure the decommissioning process of RAF Scampton does not follow previous models, such as at RAF Hemswell (Hemswell Cliff) and RAF Binbrook (Brookenby). He added:
“Ongoing for the past number of years, West Lindsey District Council has spent a vast amount of time and money on helping residents right the MoD decommissioning wrongs. We will be holding meetings with either the Secretary of State or a Minister to lobby for residents to be put first.”
The council is looking to hold a number of community meetings to listen to the people’s views for the future, to provide the council with a position to discuss with Ministry of Defence and Defence Infrastructure Organisation. Cllr. Patterson added:
“Ideally I would like to see the retention of the facilities such as the large amount of green space with play parks, the gym, tennis courts, squash courts and shop post office for the wider benefit of the community. The loss of these assets has a major impact on residential community areas, as what was undertaken at other WLDC decommissioned RAF Bases with sell off.
“We also need to preserve the listed Hangars, which are integral to the heritage of the site, and ensure that the play school is kept open.
“Residents will be asked to help on a committee to formulate the plans that the community need to agree as the way forward.
“A website will be set up shortly to capture all of the information, as more becomes available, and to provide a forum for the local community to help inform the key actions and priorities for the area's future.”