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Greenham Common tower is approved by councillors

William Walker

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William Walker

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Future of iconic Greenham Control Tower is put in doubt

An iconic cold war control tower on Greenham Common will be transformed into a visitor centre and café after councillors overturned officer’s recommendations to refuse it.

At a Western Area Planning meeting held in Newbury last night (Wednesday) councillors voted unanimously to support the application which has been in the pipeline since 2012.

Greenham Parish Council’s flagship project was put in doubt after planning officers sided with a local wildlife trust and recommended it be refused altogether, warning that the ecological impact was not adequately addressed by the applicant.

Concerns were first raised by the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust which objected to the proposal, claiming that the redevelopment and the increased footfall it would bring would have an adverse impact on vulnerable species there.

On debating the proposal, however, and after hearing from the support of Greenham parish councillors and the Newbury Society it was decided that the benefit to the town of Newbury was more important than to the local wildlife.

In summing up the decision chairman of the committee Paul Bryant (Con, Speen) said: “When the Americans moved out and it became Greenham Common our view was that the common was going to be for the people of Newbury, and to think that we don’t want to see another 7,000 people or however many there is going to be is rather against what the common is for.

“The primary reason for this in my view is that it is for the people of Newbury primarily and secondly for the protection of nature.”

For the full report from the meeting and all of the reaction pick up a copy of next week’s Newbury Weekly News.

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Article comments

  • lindlou

    31/07/2016 - 19:07

    Has the tower opened up as a café/visitor centre yet, As I have a elderly lady who served and worked in the tower during the war, and it is the place where she met her husband, I would like to bring her back after so many years away. Many Thanks Linda Mosher Abingdon

    Reply

  • Exjetter

    24/09/2015 - 18:06

    (continued) pleased to see the runway gone and returned to Common Land. The trail along with the pond provides an opportunity for peaceful reflection and enjoyment. I'm sure that the men who left life behind them on D-Day would be well pleased to see families and children enjoying themselves on the Common. An interpretive center and cafe in the old control tower will go even further in remembering the sacrifice made by so many, from the dark days of World War II through the even darker and uncertain days of the Cold War. Once again, thank you for such a positive decision in the right direction.

    Reply

  • Exjetter

    24/09/2015 - 18:06

    I just wanted to pass along my pleasure upon reading that the Western Area Planning Committee rejected the advice of the planning officers and approved the development of the Greenham Common control tower into a cafe and interpretive center. While many people focus on the recent history of RAF Greenham Common due to the notoriety of its nuclear mission, many people tend to forget that RAF Greenham Common played an important roll in the D-Day invasion. Many brave soldiers stepped into eternity from RAF Greenham Common and their sacrifice on our behalf must never be forgotten. I believe this decision is a right decision in that direction. I am a former American Airman who was stationed at RAF Greenham Common from January 1981 to January 1984 and was witness to and proud of the impact RAF Greenham Common had in ending the Cold War. While attending the 150 Year Celebration of The Salvation Army in London this past summer I had the opportunity to revisit RAF Greenham Common. I was very p

    Reply

  • Exjetter

    24/09/2015 - 16:04

    Thank you from an American who spent three years there 81-84.

    Reply

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