Cold War relics removed from housing scheme site

BLAKENHAM: Fuel tanks dating from the Cold War have been removed from the site of a 350-home housing scheme associated with the controversial SnOasis development.

Work on the housing complex at the former MoD site and adjoining Masons Cement Works, in Great Blakenham, started last month and clearing of the site in preparation for the start of construction work is nearly complete.

A big step in starting work was taken in recent days after a series of large fuel tanks were broken up and removed.

The tanks – rusting relics of the Cold War – were installed largely underground in a bid to protect them from bombs.

They were used to store fuel for the interceptor jets located at nearby airbases, most notably the Lightning fighter planes based at Wattisham Airfield, then known as RAF Wattisham.

Jim Carroll, spokesman for SnOasis developer Godfrey Spanner, said: “They were put there at the beginning of the Cold War and were to serve the local airfields.

“They have just been sitting there as a bit of an eyesore. They were bomb-proof and it’s quite interesting how they were constructed, mostly underground.

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“There was a lot of earth to be moved around the tanks, but then they were just chopped up and removed. The rest of the site is just flat concrete because that was the site of the old cement works itself. It’s a big ‘job done’.”

The residential scheme, a separate application to the much-delayed SnOasis winter sport and leisure project, would deliver a total of 350 new homes, including 203 private houses and 34 private apartments as well as 93 affordable homes and 20 affordable apartments.