West Berkshire Council has rejected Flying A Services Ltd claims that they had been using the former GAMA site at Greenham Common continuously for storage for over 10 years.
In an attempt to circumvent previously refused usage permission Flying A Services submitted signed statements claiming that the missile silo’s had been used continuously since 2005 for storage. The site has approval for external car storage only.
The statements included directors of Flying A Services, Caretakers and worryingly a serving police officer with Thames Valley Police who swore an affidavit saying the silos had been continuously occupied with storage items.
The crux of Flying A’s application was that they had been using the site (despite not having permission too) for storage continuously for over 10 years therefore the usage should be granted by default. They claimed that all the missile silo’s had contained items over that period.
We objected to this claim and were able to demonstrate that multiple people had visited the site during that 10 year period and reported the silo’s as empty and were able to provide West Berkshire Planning department with photographic evidence of the empty silos. Greenham Parish Council also objected to the application on a similar basis.
The council took this into account and stated that Flying A Services Ltd had failed to prove that the Silo’s had been used for storage and “in all probability” they had not been used. As a result the application was refused for all buildings in GAMA except for building 714 which had been used for storage.
Flying A Services Ltd, which is run by Phillipe Delis and Shane Prater, have also attempted to get out of their obligation to improve the road junction leading into GAMA which was a condition of the storage of vehicles externally on the site.
The council concluded that any storage at GAMA (except that in building 714) had been unlawful and must stop.
This refusal is yet another blow to Flying A Services Ltd who have repeatedly attempted to turn a profit from the GAMA site wich is a protected historic monument. There have been constant fears that damage would be caused to the one of the most unique cold war sites in the UK.
The GAMA site at the former RAF Greenham Common was home to the 501st Tactical Missile Wing of the US Air Force during the height of the cold war and was used to house and deploy Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCM) capable of rapid strikes against eastern europe.
Greenham Common and Molesworth were the only 2 bases used for this purpose and both were decommissioned in the early 90’s when the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) was signed banning short to medium range nuclear missiles.
Despite being protected by Historic England as a Scheduled Monument, Flying A Services Ltd have refused to entertain any idea of having some kind of public historic significance on the site or public access.