Wethersfield airfield: CPRE Essex position statement
The future of the former airfield at RAF Wethersfield, near Braintree, has been the subject of some considerable conjecture.
It was three years ago that Homes England and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation floated the idea of developing almost 5,000 houses at the site, but that has been superseded by a proposal from the Ministry of Justice for the building of two prisons there. A consultation on the latter suggestion was launched in September last year.
That in turn triggered a campaign (Stop Wethersfield Airfield Prisons) for the former airfield to be ‘rewilded’ – or turned back to nature.
With all this in mind, CPRE Essex has released its position statement on the site.
The core of our message is “CPRE’s preference would be for the airfield to be returned to the use it had before the Second World War, ie agricultural purposes – especially as it lies surrounded by Grade 2 (very good quality) land. Alternatively, if the cost of reinstatement is prohibitive, a mixed-use country park and leisure scheme might be appropriate”.