RAF has ‘no plans’ to shut Northolt
Council submitted plans to Mayor of London to build 20,000 homes on site
THE Royal Air Force (RAF) has said there are ‘currently no plans’ to dispose of its historic Northolt base after Ealing Council suggested the site could be closed and used to build 20,000 homes.
The Gazette revealed in January that the council had submitted the idea to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s office as part of the consultation for the new London Plan.
The suggestion caused an uproar among residents concerned about increasing traffic, a strain on health care, the loss of the base’s history as well as the security it provides for London.
RAF Northolt sits within the boundary of Hillingdon Council and the leader of the council Ray Puddifoot vowed to oppose any plans to build 20,000 homes on the base.
A spokesman for the RAF said: “There are currently no plans to dispose of RAF Northolt.”
Ealing Council submitted the idea to Mr Khan’s office as part of the ‘City for All Londoners’ document, which outlines challenges and opportunities across the capital.
The council claimed the 100-year-old working RAF station ‘serves no real strategic importance’ and could be developed for housing to combat London’s housing crisis.
In its submission to City Hall, Ealing Council wrote: “Although not in The Uxbridge Gazette Series Ealing, [ RAF Northolt] immediately borders our borough and we believe offers huge potential for development especially given its proximity to key routes into London by road and underground.
“The airbase serves no real strategic importance and its closure would help offset additional flights from Heathrow whilst allowing for congestion in the skies to be managed more effectively and fairly.
“It would also ensure development at higher levels of density could be achieved in the surrounding area because there would be no need to safeguard approaches to the airbase.”
In its response to Ealing Council’s proposal, City Hall is staying quiet on specifics about RAF Northolt.
A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: “All submissions are assessed jointly by City Hall and the boroughs for sustainability for housing, which will form evidence for the new London plan.”
HISTORIC SITE: RAF Northolt opened in 1915