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Former WW2 airfield set for quarry transformation


Hills Group will change a former RAAF airfield in Down Ampney in England with a remarkable transformation into a sand and gravel quarry.   

Hills Quarry Products’ plans to transform the World War Two airfield received the green light by the Gloucestershire County Council. 

The approved plans include aggregate processing plants, a concrete plant and a bagging operation. It will also include the associated infrastructure of silt lagoons, offices, welfare facilities, wheel washes and weighbridges. 

Hills Quarry Products’ group director Peter Andrew said the 178-hectare site will provide employment opportunities for local workers.  

“I am delighted that our detailed proposals, which include wide-ranging environmental considerations, have been approved and that Gloucestershire County Council has entrusted Hills with the management and restoration of this important historical site through the phased extraction of essential minerals,” he said. 

“I am also very happy that this will provide ongoing employment opportunities and security within the business and for our suppliers.” 

The Down Ampney airfield was operational during the World War Two based on the outskirts of the nearby village from 1944-1947.  

Some reports say the base had close to 3,000 personnel, including the RAF 48 and 271 Squadrons Douglas Dakotas.  

The site’s extraction will take place over approximately 13 years once initial site works are completed. 

The company’s proposal includes provisions for an education and visitor centre. The centre will help explain the role of the quarrying and aggregates industry in wider society, especially in the building of infrastructure, houses and roads.  

The Hills Group chief executive officer Mike Hill said the decision vindicated the company’s considered approach to the proposal.  

“The company’s record for archaeology, award-winning restoration and community consultation is exemplary, as demonstrated throughout the Cotswold Water Park,” he said.  

“We are excited about commencing work on this critical project.” 

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