RAF Molesworth could become home to British military after withdrawal of US forces

RAF Molesworth

RAF Molesworth - Credit: Archant

A military base currently being used by the American Air Force could be taken over by the British military in the coming years.

The announcement comes as Huntingdonshire District Council continues talks with the Ministry of Defence, representatives from the Government, and the Mildenhall, Alconbury and Molesworth Working Group about any future military use of RAF Molesworth and RAF Alconbury.

According to the district council the American Air Force will not move out of Molesworth and Alconbury until 2022.

News of the discussions emerged at a full council meeting on July 29 by Huntingdonshire District Council’s executive leader Councillor Jason Ablewhite.

Cllr Ablewhite said: “We have met with the Ministry of Defence and (Department for) Business Innovation and Skills over the last week to talk about the future of both places in our area but a move for the American Air Force with still occur.

“We have been told that one of our forces in the UK is interested in Molesworth.”

It was not clarified at the council meeting which of the forces have expressed an interest in the site.

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A spokesperson for the MOD said: “Any decision on the future of RAF Molesworth will be made as part of MOD’s overall review of the defence estate, which is due to be completed in 2016.

“MOD will continue to work with local councils to ensure any decision to release the site takes into account local strategic planning issues and wider Government drivers.”

The US Department of Defense announced in January that it would withdraw from its base at RAF Mildenhall and move to RAF Croughton the activities currently located at RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth in the coming years.

“They are hoping and looking to move to another site so that they can close down on one night and reopen the next morning at another base,” added Cllr Ablewhite.

RAF Alconbury has been earmarked for a new development over the future, among the suggestions is to build a further 1,400 homes on the site.

Cllr Ablewhite confirmed that “developers will get first refusal on Alconbury” with any future plans for the base as a housing development is likely to be revealed in the council’s local plan to 2036 which is expected to be released next year.

The next meeting between local representatives and the government will take place in October or November but the MOD have stated that if they have “any further information to share with local partners about the future of the sites, this will be done before the meeting to help local decision-making about service provision and planning”.