The legal implications of RAF Scampton's closure
A new use for the world-famous RAF Scampton will almost certainly involve a long planning process, as legal loopholes will have to be jumped through to transform the vast site, an expert predicts.
It also has implications for civilians in the area around Lincoln who are employed at the base, says Tom Hickingbottom, a lawyer with the region’s largest law firm Wilkin Chapman solicitors. However, the news of its closure could also present a new opportunity for the area – with blueprints already existing locally.
Long-rumoured news of the closure of the RAF base, made famous by the Dambusters and more latterly home to the Red Arrows, was confirmed today. The MoD, which wants to save £3bn by 2040 is also closing RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire.
With 600 people currently working at Scampton, near Lincoln, the closure will take place in 2022 – and Tom predicts that the MoD will need that time to prepare for the future. This will include the relocation of employees, possible redundancies of civilians, and preparing the site for sale.
West Lindsey District Council is already pledging to help create a possible new community of homes and business. Lincolnshire residents will recall how the old domestic site at the redundant RAF Binbrook, in the Wolds, was renamed and is now the village of Brookenby. Meanwhile the former military barracks at Kirton Lindsey is set to be transformed, with £29-million invested over the next five years, creating more than 300 new homes and public space.
Wilkin Chapman solicitors has a long history of providing legal advice and support to Armed Forces personnel. Tom said, on hearing today’s news: “Clearly this is an unsettling period and the county is losing a piece of wartime history, along with the home of the Red Arrows, which there is no doubt will be a loss. One hopes the MoD will consider moving the Red Arrows to another base in Lincolnshire which has been their home since 1983.
“However, looking to the future there is a massive development opportunity and, notwithstanding planning and change of use concerns, if planned correctly, this could well offer a very promising future for our area,” added Tom.