The recapture of old RAF sites

The UK is literally littered with abandoned RAF airfields. Once the mainstay of defence in the Second World War, these bases would see hordes of Hurricanes and Spitfires leap to the protection of Britain. Later on, they would host Lancaster Bombers on night raids, or they were turned over to the USAF to conduct day raids with their B-17 Flying fortresses. When the conflict was over, many were kept on as the Cold War started. Now jet fighters and long-range bombers were maintained in readiness. However, at the start of the 1990s, the world changed, and there was less need for them. The number of sites needed was significantly reduced, and they were closed and abandoned.

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The question now becomes, what do we do with the space? They represent an excellent opportunity for housing; you might think they are a blank canvas for developers. Unfortunately, they come with issues, and it’s why Soil Remediation Services like, are called upon to sort them out first.

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The main problem is that asbestos was used to build and line the hangers and buildings. Asbestos is excellent at containing or keeping out heat if there is a fire, plus it’s very difficult for it to catch alight. However, if it breaks and crumbles, it can become deadly to anyone breathing it in. These buildings have fallen into disrepair, and it may be that a lot of it has gotten into the soil. This will need cleaning to be used again.


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