West Lindsey District Council says ‘enough is enough’ as it files an application to Historic England to list the former Officers’ Mess building at RAF Scampton.
The move follows confirmation from the Home Office, that it is assessing a number of sites, including Scampton for their suitability to accommodate asylum seekers.
It has been a historic week for the community, which has drawn significant media attention, seen more than 40,000 people sign a petition and 40 significant historians throw weight behind plans to preserve and protect the site.
Rapidly deteriorating buildings have prompted the local planning authority to take affirmative action to safeguard the historic building. Director of Planning, Regeneration and Communities at West Lindsey District Council, Sally Grindrod-Smith, expressed concerns following a site visit at RAF Scampton this week.
“The Council is very concerned about the future of the former Officers’ Mess. The building appears to be deteriorating rapidly and without due care and attention this important historic feature of the site could be lost forever. That is why the Council has taken decisive action and made an application to Historic England to seek listed building status.”
The former Officers’ Mess, built in late 1936, is a type B mess, one of three standard designs for Officers’ Mess constructed in the Expansion period. The original features, character and fabric of the building are of a distinct quality and are largely intact, playing a key role in telling the important stories of the site’s past.
In its heyday, the building was used for accommodating officers as well as hosting formal functions. In 1943 HM The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited to commend the crews in support of 617 Squadron after the Dams Raid
The decision by the Council to seek listed building status for the Officers’ Mess follows a week where commemorations have been held to mark the 80th anniversary of the formation of 617 Squadron the Dambusters. This included an event at Scampton Parish Church, which dedicated a stunning stained-glass window in memory of the famous squadron.
West Lindsey District Council remains committed to supporting the local community and securing the future of the regeneration plans. On 6March 2023 the Council announced a ground-breaking deal with Scampton Holdings Limited to secure a sustainable future for the site, which would see investment of £300 million across four key business areas:
- Commercial activity, aerospace and aviation;
- Hospitality and tourism;
- Education and research.
Only days later it was revealed the Home Office was considering RAF Scampton as one of a number of sites that could be used for the provision of asylum accommodation.
However, almost two weeks later, the Home Office maintains that no decision to commence use of RAF Scampton for asylum accommodation has been made. The Council is considering all options and seeking legal advice, to do whatever is necessary to protect the redevelopment and regeneration of this site.
For more information about the Dambusters visit: The story of the Dambusters