March 20, 2022 8.00 am

Councils look to buy £1.6m former Lincolnshire RAF station

Series of ideas for the land proposed

Two Lincolnshire councils are looking to buy the former RAF Woodhall Spa, according to a report.

Both East Lindsey District Council and Lincolnshire County Council have expressed an interest in purchasing the site from the Ministry of Defence which confirmed it was selling the station land in December last year because it was “surplus public sector land”.

East Lindsey District Council’s executive committee on Wednesday will hear about a series of options for the land if they were successful, including golf-based holiday parks, a crematorium and woodland burial ground, and industrial redevelopment.

However, the report due before the council also notes LCC’s interest and said its officers have had “initial conversations” about the site and whether there is “some opportunity for collaboration on shared ambitions.”

The MOD values the land at around £1.6million – though East Lindsey believes that it could be worth £1.3million or less when clearance is taken into account.

“The site is considered to have alternative use potential which, [subject to caveats], may be of use to the council in supporting delivery of corporate objectives,” said the report.

“There is a general lack of opportunities to acquire development land, particularly off market, within the district and therefore the site is worthy of further due diligence and feasibility work being undertaken.”

The former RAF airfield is next to a nature reserve and quarry. Image: Google Maps

If approved, the executive would establish a budget of up to £10,000 to carry out feasibility work and decide if it wants to proceed further.

The ground currently includes a golf club covering around 80% of it, which the report said faces closure from the RAF in the coming months.

The club is used by RAF Coningsby and officers said the course is “at best a municipal pay and play standard” and would take “significant investment” to attract private membership, especially considering other nearby courses.

Part of the site was also used as an emergency mortuary by the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum, which is overseen by LCC, during the COVID-19 pandemic and officers said the building was “in the best condition and could be repurposed for industrial or commercial use”.

RAF Woodhall Spa was opened as a satellite station to RAF Coningsby in February 1942.

During the Second World War it hosted the 617 “Dambusters” Squadron among others.

Lincolnshire County Council has been asked about its plans for the site.