Study looks at Mildenhall

A FEASIBILITY study looking at potential relocations sites, including three at RAF Mildenhall, for a large aero-engineering firm has stopped short of recommending a “best option” but says all are workable.

A FEASIBILITY study looking at potential relocations sites, including three at RAF Mildenhall, for a large aero-engineering firm has stopped short of recommending a “best option” but says all are workable.

Consultancy firm Arup undertook the study into the possible relocation of Marshall Aerospace, which currently has a 1,700-strong workforce based at Cambridge City airport.

The report appraised three sites at RAF Mildenhall and one at RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire.

The Cambridge Airport site has been earmarked for housing and other development in the local structure plan as part of sustainable growth plans for the city.


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The Arup study was commissioned in December last year to look at the feasibility of the two locations, including commercial and operational issues and their impacts on the neighbouring environment, roads and local communities.

But the study stops short of recommending a site. The final decision rests with Marshall Aerospace, which says it will be based on a combination of technical, commercial and planning considerations.

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But it does not highlight any overwhelming obstacles to relocating at either Mildenhall or Wyton.

“The study has not identified any 'show stoppers' in the technical areas described above, which would prevent Marshall Aerospace developing facilities to relocate to at any of these four sites,” the report says.

“However, each site has its own benefits and disadvantages, and has different impacts on the surrounding environment, communities and transport systems.”

Marshall said it would be reviewing the information, in parallel with reviews being undertaken by the local authorities.

“Definitive decisions as to relocation cannot be taken until the future status of the Cambridge City Airport land is finalised through the planning process,” it said.

“The company will continue energetically its work to further the detailed specification for its facilities, relocation costs and planning issues.”

Martin Broadhurst, its chief executive, said: “Marshall appreciates the co-operation of all parties in this endeavour. We recognise the importance of this effort and are committed to further work to move this project forward as we build a framework for the key decisions necessary to ensure Marshall continues to best serve our customers, employees, and the community.”

The report said the Mildenhall northwest and southwest sites were assessed to have potentially more adverse noise impacts within the maintenance hangars than the south site, with the Wyton Airfield site causing the least.

However, the impact of aircraft movements at RAF Wyton were thought to be more adverse than at Mildenhall. The visual impacts of the facilities at all sites were of concern, but likely to have least impact on the Mildenhall south site.

The Wyton option would be more costly to establish, it said. The Mildenhall northwest and southwest sites were assessed to have a large adverse impact on archaeological resouces, and the Mildenhall south a moderate adverse impact.

Forest Heath District Council said it would “very much welcome” Marshall Aerospace if they chose to move to Mildenhall.

“We believe such a move would bring employment opportunities and long-term prosperity to the area and would also reinforce the district's established links with the aircraft industry,” a spokeswoman said.

“Forest Heath District Council is part of the steering group, which includes Cambridgeshire Horizons, GO East, Suffolk County, Huntingdonshire District, Cambridge City, South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridgeshire County Councils, working closely with Marshall Aerospace to consider possible relocation sites.”

She added: “Any decisions about relocation and future sites will be made by Marshall Aerospace.”

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