December 4, 2022 9.00 am This story is over 16 months old

Heritage group denied permission to reopen Market Rasen air raid shelter

It would have paid tribute to Polish wartime airmen

Plans to open a historic air raid shelter to the public have been shelved, despite local support.

The structure is the only surviving part of the sick quarters at RAF Faldingworth, near Market Rasen.

The shelter would have become part of a heritage project celebrating the contribution of Polish airmen during the Second World War.

Another house (designed in the style of the former RAF quarters) would have been built to support the heritage work.

The application stated: “The intention is for the former shelter to be included as part of an existing heritage trail, which would be available to view by appointment and on specific memorial days coinciding with the wider trail and events.”

One local couple said they “wholeheartedly support the refurbishment of the existing bunker as a suitable monument to the Polish airmen of 300 Squadron.”

However, West Lindsey District Council said the isolated location at Newton by Toft wasn’t appropriate for housing.

The western end of the air raid shelter at RAF Faldingworth | Photo: Kelly & MacPherson Architects

It was also concerned about whether the plans would have guaranteed the shelter became part of the heritage trail.

The application was submitted by Kelly & MacPherson Architects.

RAF Faldingworth was the bomber base for the 1667 Heavy Conversion Unit and No. 300 (Polish) Squadron during the Second World War.

Afterwards, it was used by the No. 305 (Polish) Squadron and then as a resettlement camp for Polish veterans.

The concrete shelter – one of very few left of this type – would have housed up to 50 men during air raids.

The RAF base closed in 1972, and the site became agricultural land.

The remaining buildings faced fly tipping, vandalism and arson attacks until most were eventually demolished.

The heritage project was launched in 2010 by the RAF Ingham Heritage Group.


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