Flying A Services Ltd has lost another planning application for the GAMA site at Greenham Common and its hardened cruise missile bunkers.
The shadowy company run by Monaco resident Phillipe Delis and David Prater had planned to build a new facade on the iconic bunkers effectively destroying the whole look of the site.
Previously, Delis & Prater had told West Berkshire Planning officers that the site had been in continued use for over 10 years in an attempt to circumvent planning laws, even getting a Thames Valley Police Officer to testify to that fact, however, thanks to this site and other concerned people who had visited the site over the last 10 years we were able to demonstrate that this was not the case and in fact, the bunkers were empty and unused except for a few short periods. As such West Berkshire planning ruled against Flying A Services Ltd.
Their latest idea would have seen the cruise missile bunkers and their iconic 3 hydraulic door entrances lost behind a crude concrete and shutter loading door and the scheduled monument lost forever to the public who, despite repeated requests to Flying A Services Ltd are never allowed to visit this most vital of pieces of cold war history and can only view from behind 3 fences.
RAF Greenham Common, along with RAF Molesworth, was home to ground launched nuclear cruise missiles (GLCM) during the 1980’s, the height of the cold war. The specially built GAMA (GLCM Alert and Maintenance Area) was home to the 501st Tactical Missile Wing (1983-1991) who operated 6 flights of missile launchers. Each flight consisted of two Launch Control Centre (LCC) Vehicles and 4 Transporter Erector Launcher Vehicles known as TEL’s. As each TEL held 4 missiles, each flight had the ability to launch 16 nuclear cruise missiles at the Soviet Union.
Equally important in the history of Greenham Common & GAMA was the Women’s Peace Camps that occupied the perimeter of the base in protest of the basing of the cruise missiles. The GAMA site was the subject of frequent attempts to gain entry and disrupt the exercises carried out by the 501st.
Flying A Services have been invited on several occasions to discuss highly viable options for opening GAMA up to the public from various organisations, including proposals which would have netted a return for Delis & Co but they have declined or ignored all requests.
In their latest refusal, Flying A Services Ltd were told “The proposal would result in harm to the appearance and illustrative value of an important designated heritage asset” by West Berkshire Council who added “as a viable use has not yet been secured for the site, the harm to the appearance and illustrative value of the silo that would result from the proposed doors and access lobby is not justified”