Coltishall ex-RAF base airline plan dropped

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A company which planned to decommission commercial airliners at a former Norfolk RAF base has withdrawn its interest due to a lack of funding.

TAG Aviation's proposal to store and deconstruct Boeing 737s and other large aircraft was expected to bring about 400 jobs to the area.

North Norfolk District Council said it was very disappointed by the news.

The plan offered the opportunity to retain military buildings and make a return to aviation use, they added.

Trevor Ivory, councillor for Scottow ward, which includes a large part of the site, said: "The council had been doing everything possible to support the project but I understand TAG cannot secure the necessary funding.

"We shall now work with the Ministry of Justice, which owns the site, to find another use that creates quality jobs and boosts the local economy."

'Surgically deconstructed'

In January, Andy Vernon of TAG Aviation, spoke to BBC Look East about the proposal.

"Aircraft will come in at a rate of one day or less, when their owners - mainly the leasing companies who lease aircraft to the airlines - decide that the aircraft is no longer viable," he said.

"The aircraft will be moved in to the hangar where they will surgically deconstructed."

All four hangars, three of which are in a conservation area, would have been used to store about 50 aircraft.

RAF Coltishall was closed in 2006, and in 2009 HMP Bure, a Category C prison, opened on part of the site.

Plans for the remainder of the site have included housing, an eco-town and a power station.

Glynn Williams, of Coltishall Eco Town Action Group, had said locals were keen to see a return to aviation use as long as it was at a managed level.

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